Aristophanes, Wasps

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Aristophanes had a strong start to his career:

Wasps

was at least his sixth production in his first five years. Produced in 422 BCE at the Lenaia festival, it came in second place—losing to

Proagon

(‘

Precontest

’), which sources suggest Aristophanes also wrote (but did not produce, and so presumably bent but did not break the usual rule of one comedy per poet in a competition).

Wasps is arguably the most overtly civic-minded of all Aristophanes’ plays, but like all the others it is predicated on a single “big idea”, a fantastic proposition conceived on stage and carried to a silly extreme. In this case: What if Athenian citizens began holding trials at home? This idea develops as the protagonist Philokleon (and the chorus with him) is convinced by his son Bdelykleon to reject

2192 words

Citation: Kovacs, George. "Wasps". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 December 2012 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=13333, accessed 19 April 2024.]

13333 Wasps 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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