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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. 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.


See also: Agathon, Greek Literature

External Links

e-texts of some of Aristophanes' works:
  • The Acharnenses (http://www.abacci.com/books/book.asp?bookID=69)
  • The Birds (http://www.abacci.com/books/book.asp?bookID=263)
  • Clouds (http://www.abacci.com/books/book.asp?bookID=397)
  • Peace (http://www.abacci.com/books/book.asp?bookID=1643)

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

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