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Greek Theatre

3. Politics

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About this Lecture


In amongst all the jokes, fifth-century comedy offered serious criticism of the Athenian democracy and its politicians. Tragedy also engaged with fifth-century politics, despite being based in the mythic past. In this module, Rosie explores the theme of ‘politics’ in Greek theatre, examining key scenes in Aeschylus’ Eumenides, Euripides’ Medea and Hippolytus, and Aristophanes’ Wasps and Lysistrata.


In this course, we explore fifth-century Greek theatre, focusing in particular on the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes. In this course, we look at key dramatic conventions of fifth-century theatre, the relationship between the tragedy/comedy and contemporary politics and religion, and how contemporary Athenians understood the role and nature of tragedy.


Dr Rosie Wyles researches the cultural history of the ancient world through theatre performance. She did her undergraduate studies in Classics at Oxford and was awarded her PhD on the ancient performance reception of Euripides from the University of London in 2007. Her research interests include Greek and Roman performance arts, costume, reception within antiquity and beyond it, and gender.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Wyles, R. (2018, August 15). Greek Theatre - Politics [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Wyles, R. "Greek Theatre – Politics." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,