Theatre Oral History Report Essay Research Paper

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Theatre Oral History Report Essay, Research Paper Theatre History Oral Report Aristophanes (448?-385 BC), Athenian playwright, considered one of the greatest writers of comedy in literary history. His plays have been produced through the centuries and have remained popular because of their wit, comic invention, and poetic language. Aristophanes is believed to have been born in Athens, Greece, in the deme, or township, of Cydathenaeum. Presumably, he was well educated and may have had property on the island of Aegina. He had three sons-Philippos, Araros, and Nikostratos-all of whom were comic poets. Aristophanes was first and foremost a satirist. During his lifetime Athens underwent a period of convulsive cultural and social change, and he found a ready target in the

politicians, poets, and philosophers of his day. It would nevertheless be misleading to describe Aristophanes as a reactionary or a conservative, since his works show no sympathy for the aristocratic party in Athenian politics. No class, age, or profession was exempt from his satire. Aristophanes wrote more than 40 plays, of which 11 are extant. His first three plays were produced under pseudonyms, including The Acharnians (425 BC), a plea for ending the war with Sparta. The Knights (424 BC), the first of the plays of Aristophanes to be presented under his own name, is a devastating satire about Athenian politician and military leader Cleon, champion of the democratic forces and leader of the war party. The Clouds (423 BC) satirizes Greek philosopher Socrates, whose penetrating

analysis of established values Aristophanes considered opposed to the interests of the state. In The Wasps (422 BC) Aristophanes satirized the courts of justice of the day, and in The Peace (421 BC) he again argued for peace between Athens and Sparta. The Birds (414 BC) is a fantasy in which an Athenian persuades the birds to build a city in the clouds and then imposes his own terms on the gods. Lysistrata (411 BC), another satire on war, in which women strike for peace by practicing celibacy, is his most famous work. Thesmorphoriazusae (411 BC) and The Frogs (405 BC) include attacks on Athenian playwright Euripides. Ecclesiazusa (393 BC) is a satire on the idea of communal ownership of property, and Plutus (388 BC) reduced to absurdity the concept of redistribution of wealth in

Athens. These works, basically fantasies, were written in a form related to that of contemporary tragedy. They include dialogue scenes, long choral harangues, lyric passages, and a great deal of music and dance. The plays of Aristophanes exerted considerable influence on English satire, notably that of English playwright Ben Jonson in the 17th century and English novelist Henry Fielding in the 18th century. ARISTOPHANES TIMELINE Aristophanes was born in 450 b.C. or a few years later. We make the conclusion for the year since in “Nefeles”-(”The Clouds”) (528-533) the writer leaves us to think that he was extremely young and he didn’t have self-confidence when the play “Thetalis” (his first play) was staged. 431 Pelloponesian war starts, between Athens and Sparta. 430

Pestilence in Athens. 429 Death of Pericleus. 428/7 Plato is born. 427 “Thetalis” (lost) 426 “Babylonians” (lost). Kleon lawsuits Aristophanes, with the accusation that by that play ridicule the elective rulers of the city, infront of the audiense and among them a lot of foreigh visitors, in Grant Dionesia. The suit didn’t seem to have any consequence for him. 425 “Aharnes”. First prize in Linea 424 “Heppeas” (”Horsemen”). First prize in Linea 423 “Nefeles” (”Clouds”). First form (lost) that won the third and last prize in Grand Dionesia. Peace settlement, temporarily stops the hostilities between Athens and Sparta. 422 “Sfikes” (”Wasps”), second prize in Linea. 421 “Peace”, second-best prize in Grand Dionesia. 417 “Nefeles”,