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Aristophanes: Frogs

3. Metatheatre

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about how the Frogs plays with its own status as a work of theatre, focusing in particular on: (i) the different forms of metatheatre that might appear in a play – from the overt to the more oblique; (ii) the performative quality of Athenian statecraft and the idea of the politics of metatheatre; (iii) the idea of comedy as a means of ‘teaching’ the audience something, the comic playwright as a ‘teacher’; (iv) the overt metatheatre of the competition between Aeschylus and Euripides in the second half of the play; (v) the idea of Dionysus as a spectator of (comic) theatre with particular preferences; (vi) the explicit and implicit use of costume in the play; and (vii) the metatheatrical resonances of the chorus of frogs.


In this course, Dr Naomi Scott (University of Nottingham) explores Aristophanes’ Frogs. In the first module, we think about the social, political and historical context of Aristophanes’ Frogs. In the second module, we think about the role of myth and ritual in the play, before turning in the third module to consider the ways in which Frogs plays with its own status as a work of theatre. In the fourth module, we think about the Frogs as a play that was performed rather than a text to be read, before turning in the fifth and final module to the tragic contest between Aeschylus and Euripides that dominates the second half of the play.


Dr Naomi Scott is Teaching Associate in Classics at the University of Nottingham. Her research focuses on on Old Comedy, and she works both on the plays of Aristophanes and also on the fragments of other comedians such as Cratinus, Pherecrates, and Archippus.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Scott, N. (2020, October 27). Aristophanes: Frogs - Metatheatre [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Scott, N. "Aristophanes: Frogs – Metatheatre." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 27 Oct 2020,