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Aristophanes - Frogs and Wasps

            This Essay will discuss the Governance of ancient Greek society, drawing from evidence from Aristophanes' plays Frogs and Wasps. It is undoubtable that the worshiping of the gods was a key feature of theatre in Greek culture but play rights, such as Aristophanes also used their plays to question the social, political and morality of their society. Firstly the paper will explore how Aristophanes questions the current social trends of Athens, displaying his fears about the current direction the people were heading, described in The Frogs. Continuing on from this the paper will discuss the political issues raised by Aristophanes in his plays and his views on the political climate of the time, emphasising his belief of the fall of the Athenian democracy with the lust for power of the demagogues. Lastly the essay will explore how Aristophanes views the legal system and his attitude towards the one that the Greeks had in place at the time, questioning again the morality of the Athenian people.
             Aristophanes seemed to be worried about Athens and the possible failure if its democracy and like many other poets he displayed his concerns in his plays. In the play The Frogs, Dionysus is on a quest to go down into Hades and bring back Euripides. He is on this quest because the people are in need of a first rate poet as there are none left. "I need a poet who can really write. Nowadays it seems like 'many are gone, and those that live are bad'" (p.136). The reason for Dionysus' desire to bring back a great poet is based around the role of a poet in Greek Society. The role of a poet was to help guide society into being more moral and higher principled. (in class??). Aristophanes seems to be worried of what is to become of the Athenian democracy, seemingly telling the audience that they need to become more moral and have higher principles. When Dionysus went down to Hades he found it to be just like Athens, the democracy seemed to be failing.

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