Aside from all the prodigious number of Greek tragedies in history, stands a collection of Greek comedies which serve as humorous relief from the powerful overtone of the tragedy. These comedies were meant to ease the severity and seriousness sometimes associated with the Greek society. The ideas portrayed in the comedies, compared to the tragedies, were ridiculously far-fetched; however, although abnormal, these views are certainly worthy of attention. Throughout his comedy, The Clouds, Aristophanes, along with his frequent use of toilet humor, ridicules aspects of Greek culture when he destroys tradition by denouncing the importance of the gods' influence on the actions of mortals, and he unknowingly parallels Greek society with today's. Aristophanes also defiantly misrepresents an icon like Socrates as comical, atheistic, and consumed by ideas of self interest, which is contradictory to the Socrates seen in Plato's Apology or Phaedo.
Aristophanes denounces the importance of the gods' influence on the actions of mortals. In the usual tragedy, the gods play an extremely important role towards the actions of the mortal characters. Through fear of the alternative and examples of the past, Athenians carried out their everyday lives under the guidance of the gods' wishes. Aristophanes challenges the audience, and Greek culture as a whole, by offering a different view on the answers and directions of life, than that of the gods. He denounces the parables and explanations to answers in life that involve the gods. Instead he explains that such things as the aerial whirlwind, and especially the clouds, are the reasoning behind all of natures actions. On the surface these comments were seen as a mockery and very humorous. Underlying this humor is a scary truth, most likely ignored by the congregations witnessing this play. How many times has a character in a tragedy been so willing to contradict the gods? Dominant characters like Creon and Prometheus have blatantly disobeyed the gods. The alternative explanations serve a hidden truth in the hearts of many of the Athenian people. This truth is always again repressed by the end of each play, tragedy or comedy; because their was too great of a fear to upset the higher beings.
Aristophanes, although he wrote in 420 BC, parallels much of Greek society with that of today's. He disrupts the audiences' comfort thro...
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...ety whom should be scorned and laughed at. Also, in the Apology, Socrates and the other great teaching elite, were suspected of accepting money for their skills which could have place him in a category with his portrayal in The Clouds, but he was able to dispel those rumors in his defense.
Throughout his comedy, The Clouds, Aristophanes ridicules aspects of Greek society when he destroys tradition by denouncing the importance of the gods' influence on the actions of mortals, and he unknowingly parallels Greek society with today's. Disguised by laughter, he digs deep into the truth by which citizens of Greek and future cultures will abide. Aristophanes challenges humans' strength in belief systems, fortitude of character, and ability to deal with the complexity of parenting. He also defiantly misrepresents an icon like Socrates as comical, atheistic, and consumed by ideas of self interest, which is contradictory to the Socrates seen in Plato's Apology or Phaedo. However different from each other, each writing contained a role for Socrates, which symbolized the messages trying to be conveyed in each. So even if the name is alike, the ultimate purpose of a good character was met.
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Throughout Aristophanes’ “Clouds” there is a constant battle between old and new. It makes itself apparent in the Just and Unjust speech as well as between father and son. Ultimately, Pheidippides, whom would be considered ‘new’, triumphs over the old Strepsiades, his father. This is analogous to the Just and Unjust speech. In this debate, Just speech represents the old traditions and mores of Greece while the contrasting Unjust speech is considered to be newfangled and cynical towards the old. While the defeat of Just speech by Unjust speech does not render Pheidippides the ability to overcome Strepsiades, it is a parallel that may be compared with many other instances in Mythology and real life.
Some evaluations claim that the Dionysus appearing in The Bacchae is fairly true embodiment of the ideals of ancient Athens. He demands only worship and proper reverence for his name, two matters of honor that pervaded both the Greek tragedies and the pious society that viewed them. In other plays, Oedipus' consultations with Apollo and the many Choral appeals to Zeus reveal the Athenian respect for their gods, while Electra's need for revenge and Antigone's obligation to bury Polyneices both epitomize the themes of respect and dignity. Yet although Dionysus personifies these two motifs, his clashes with the rest of Athenian tradition seem to make him its true adversary. Dionysius distinctly opposes the usual views on gender, age, rationality and divinity, leaving the reader to wonder whether these contrasts were Euripidean attempts to illuminate specific facets of the culture itself.
According to Aristotle, tragedy requires an admirable hero with power and in a high state, but more importantly, he or she possesses a tragic flaw that leads to their downfall. This tragic flaw most closely relates to a character’s hubris, excessive pride in themselves or their judgment. But sometimes a character cannot be categorized as tragic, and one can argue whether or not the tragic character violates the requirements. In Sophocles’ Antigone Creon and Antigone serve as tragic characters in the play; however, Creon’s character exemplifies Aristotle’s theory of tragedy.
In his published lecture concerning Aristophanes' plays, Cedric H. Whitman discusses what he considers as the general template of all of Aristophanes' main characters: the comic hero. Whitman defines a comic hero as possessing great individualism, a good deal of poneros, meaning wickedness, and striking a balance of eiron and alazon, which translates into being a mixture of an ironical buffoon, who makes fun of himself for his own amusement, and an imposter, who disguises his true identity or feelings. He sees the comic hero as one who is extremely self-motivated and self-centered: "whatever is heroic is individualistic, and tends toward excess, or at least extremes. It asserts its self primarily . . ." Whitman also declares that poneros is necessary in the character of the comic hero, that this person is villainous, manipulative, and very convincing. The comic hero is shameless in expressing his desires, and he has no shame in pursuing them by any means necessary, whether such acts would be considered right or wrong. Whitman also recognizes the mixture of eiron--ironical buffoonery--and alazon--being an imposter--in the comic hero of Aristophanes' plays. "The mere buffoon, says Aristotle, makes fun for the sake of getting a laugh for others; the ironical man makes fun for his own amusement, which is more worthy of a free man.
A Greek drama is a serious of actions within a literary presentation in which the chief character has a disastrous fate. Many Greek dramas fall under theatrical category of a tragedy due to the tragic events and unhappy ending that cause the downfall of the main character. During the famous play “Antigone” the Greek author Sophocles incorporated several features of a tragedy. These features include a morally significant dilemma and the presence of a tragic hero. Grand debate over which character can hold the title of the tragic hero has discussed in the literally world for ages. A tragic hero can be defined as someone with a substantial personality flaw that causes them to endure great suffering with a reversal of character near the end. Antigone possesses certain traits that could potentially render her the tragic hero but Creon truly embodies all characteristics. Creon is the tragic hero in “Antigone” due to several qualities he displays throughout the play; he can’t accept a diminished view of himself, he endures great suffering and he is enlightened in the end.
Euripides’ Electra is a tragedy that encourages readers to consider the problematic nature of humanity’s response to injustice: its quest to make fair that which is unfair, to correct unjust actions, and to mark the fragile border between what is ethically correct and morally wrong. Aristophanes’ Clouds is a tragedy disguised as a comedy that illuminates Strepsiades’s profound disregard for justice, conduct, and the establishment of civilization. Underneath Aristophanes’ comedic approach lies a dark conclusion that alludes to a problem that civilization faces today: ignorance and its resistance to evolution. Electra adheres to its respective form as a tragedy while Aristophanes’ Clouds outgrows its comedic structure to form a darker, more serious conclusion.
Aristophanes’ Clouds begins by introducing the audience to Strepsiades, a simple-minded and old man who finds himself in debt due to his son’s ,Pheidippides, expensive hobby. Strepsiades asks Pheidippides to attend Socrates’ thinkery; a place where Pheidippides could learn a speech that he could then use to talk the city and Strepsiades’ creditors out of collecting the debt. From the very initial moment of this play, therefore, we witness an individual who finds himself in direct collision with the laws of the polity. Specifically, Strepsiades’ is in collision with those features of civil law that seek to ensure that interactions between citizens are characterized by a somewhat
In Euripides’ play The Bacchae, the ideals that were the foundation of Greek culture were called into question. Until early 400B.C.E. Athens was a society founded upon rational thinking, individuals acting for the good of the populace, and the “ideal” society. This is what scholars commonly refer to as the Hellenic age of Greek culture. As Athens is besieged by Sparta, however, the citizens find themselves questioning the ideals that they had previously lived their lives by. Euripides’ play The Bacchae shows the underlying shift in ideology of the Greek people from Hellenic (or classical), to Hellenistic; the god character Dionysus will be the example that points to the shifting Greek ideology.
The play “Antigone” by Sophocles displays many qualities that make it a great tragedy. A tragedy is defined as a dramatic or literary work in which the principal character engages in a morally significant struggle ending in ruin or profound disappointment. In creating his tragedy “Antigone”, Sophocles uses many techniques to create the feelings of fear and pity in his readers. This in turn creates an excellent tragedy.
The play was considered comic by the ancient Athenians because of its rhyming lyricism, its song and dance, its bawdy puns, but most of all because the notion and methods of female empowerment conceived in the play were perfectly ridiculous. Yet, as is the case in a number of Aristophanes’ plays, he has presented an intricate vision of genuine human crisis. In true, comic form Aristophanes superficially resolves the play’s conflicts celebrating the absurdity of dramatic communication. It is these loose threads that are most rife with tragedy for modern reader. By exploring an ancient perspective on female domesticity, male political and military power, rape, and efforts to maintain the integrity of the female body, we can liberate our modern dialogue.
The Greek play, Antigone, written by Sophocles in the year 441 BCE, honors the Greek god of wine, Dionysus. It is hard to imagine that a play, written century ago for an imaginary god, would still be widely popular and have great significance in today's world. Using two main characters, Antigone and Creon, Sophocles creates a dialogue that examines two very different views of nomos (law) and physis (nature), the focal point of all Greek beliefs. These two terms were often the key in deciding what was considered right and wrong among the Greeks, and people still use nomos and physis in today's society centuries later. Throughout Antigone, Creon and Antigone use nomos and physis to defend their actions taken when Antigone breaks a law made by Creon, because she feels it impedes upon the unwritten laws of the gods, much like anti gay advocates defend their stance on protecting the sanctity of marriage, while gay activists oppose it because it violates their fundamental constitutional rights.
... convey deeper themes of life and death, the struggles between power and class structure and also the societal differences between men and women. Aristophanes uses humor to hook his audience into his play, and then undermines the surface humor with much bigger thematic issues. If this play had simply been about women withholding sex for other reasons such as wanting more money for shopping or other frivolous ideas it would not then be considered a satiric comedy. Satire requires more than physical humor. An issue must be raised such as the life and death theme that is seen in the war in Lysistrata, and a solution must then be made. Aristophanes created the women in the beginning to be bickering, unintelligent, and self-centered people. But in the end it was their idea and compromise that ended the war.
In his tragic trilogy, The Theban Plays, Sophocles portrays the essence of Ancient Greek life; their culture, politics, religion and the maxims that are intended to guide their daily life through the actions of the main characters, Oedipus, Creon, and Antigone. Sophocles employs the use of thematic structures that coherently affects each character uniquely, and one of the most common themes depicted in these plays is that of fate vs freewill. In the Theban trilogy, Sophocles uses a well-structured theme of fate vs freewill to establish the relationship between the Greeks and the gods, as well as to illustrate the limits of mortality.
Out of all the famous Greek playwrights, Sophocles has to be one of the most well known of all. All seven of Sophocles’ plays “are often considered the most perfect achievement of ancient Athens” His plays make the audience think about the character’s actions, such as asking who was in the right and who was in the wrong. Sophocles’ plays ‘are just as relevant today as they were in the fifth century B.C.E.” (“Ancient Athenian Drama” 701). There are some connections between events in Sophocles’ life and his plays Oedipus and Antigone.