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1. Political and Historical Context
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the social, political and historical context of Aristophanes’ Frogs, focusing in particular on: (i) the impact of Athens’ continued involvement in the Peloponnesian War against Sparta, especially the decision to grant freedom to slaves who rowed in Athenian ships at the Battle of Arginusae; (ii) the play’s interest in the fluidity of social hierarchy – especially in the relationship between Xanthias and Dionysus; (iii) the politics of the play’s celebrated ‘parabasis’; and (iv) the extent to which these features (e.g. the clever slave outwitting his master) are merely conventions of Old Comedy as opposed to being reactions to contemporary politics.
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
Scott, N. (2020, October 27). Aristophanes: Frogs - Political and Historical Context [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/aristophanes-frogs-scott/political-and-historical-context
Scott, Naomi. "Aristophanes: Frogs – Political and Historical Context." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 27 Oct 2020, https://www.massolit.io/courses/aristophanes-frogs-scott/political-and-historical-context