Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Aristophanes (c 448-380 BCE)
Shrines! Shrines! Surely you don't believe in the gods. What's your argument? Where's your proof?
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Aristophanes (ca. 446 BC - 385 BC) was a Greek comic poet, famous for writing plays, especially comedies such as The Birds for the two Athenian festivals the Dionisia and the Lenea.
Many of his plays were political and he is known to have been prosecuted for Athenian law's equivalent of libel more than once. A famous comedy, The Frogs, was given the unprecedented honor of a second perfomance. He appears in Plato's Symposium, giving a humorous mythical account of the origin of Love. The Clouds pokes fun at famous figures, notably Socrates, and may have contributed to the common conception of the philosopher as a Sophist. Plato is said to have kept a copy of the Clouds under his pillow. Lysistrata was written during the Peloponnesian war between Athens and Sparta and presents a pacifist theme in a comical manner: the women of the two states deprive their husbands of sex until they stop fighting. This play was later illustrated at length by Pablo Picasso. [This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License and uses material adapted in whole or in part from the Wikipedia article on Aristophanes.]
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