Ancient Greek Comedy Essay

1441 WordsFeb 14, 20136 Pages
Aristophanes’ Peace When people think of ancient Greek playwrights, most people’s initial thought is that of Aristophanes. We not only think of him because of his eleven plays that have survived to this day; more specifically we understand his impact on the Athenian public. His plays represented life in Athens, and focused on the social and political issues that were present in 425-388 BC. Aristophanes’ Peace is an Athenian Old Comedy that was written in 421 BC. Peace and Lysistrata are both comedic plays by Aristophanes that relate to the Peloponnesian War. In this paper, I will examine the significance of Aristophanes’ ideas of war and peace, and how those ideas became the main focus in his comedies during the war between Athens and Sparta. The Peloponnesian War is the main focus in Aristophanes’ Peace and Lysistrata. The Peloponnesian War, not to get confused with the Persian War, was the name of the battle between Athens and the Peloponnesian confederacy, Sparta, from 431- 404 BC. The war was instigated over the desire for supremacy of Greece. Athens manipulated other Greek city-states, through the Delian League, into giving Athens the funds to become the naval power in Greece. The Spartans were becoming jealous of the Athenians increased military strength. The organization of the Delian League was to serve merely as an instrument for the conduct of the naval war against Persia (Larson 175). However, Athens used the League’s navy for its own purposes, which prompted an eruption by Sparta. In 431 BC, Thebes of Sparta let out his frustration by attacking Plataea of Athens, which got the Peloponnesian War underway. The Spartans had the army; Athens held the navy. Archidamas sent his Spartan army to invade Athens. Around that same time, Athenian ruler, Pericles, died because of the horrible plague in Greece. Athens was upset over the death of Pericles; in 428 BC,

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