The Caryatid Porch on the Acropolis

Aristophanes is the big name in Greek comedy. His style of humour has been imitated throughout the centuries and can still be recognised in comic sketches and routines used by comedians today. Find out more about him here

Scope of the Topic
We put Aristophanes in a physical setting. We walk down the street where he lived. We have a look around the agora and meet some of the stock types he ridicules in his plays. These include politicians (predictably!), philosophers, and (regrettably) teachers. We also set the historical background of Democracy (the Greeks invented it) and the wars fought against the Persians and Spartans.

Aristophanes is merciless in his condemnation. He is the Spitting Image of the ancient world! Apart from the background we also have to take account of the plays themselves; his comic and dramatic technique which might include a study of plot, structure, fantasy, escapism, use of parody, types of humour and presentation of character.

 

The Examination

We look at three plays in the AS year. In the examination you have to answer two questions - one essay from a choice of two, and one context from a choice of two. The prescribed plays for the year 2003 summer examination are:

Aristophanes

  • Peace,
  • Wasps,
  • Knights

Intrigued by the titles?! Come and find out more.