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by Aristophanes

Critical sites about Wasps

Wasps 1284-91 and the Portrait of Kleon in Wasps
"The encounter between Aristophanes and Kleon described at Wasps 1284-91 is not the well-known attack before the boule in 426/5 BC, but a more recent confrontation, probably after the first production of Clouds at the Dionysia of 423 BC. Thus Wasps is Aristophanes' first production since his 'accommodation' with Kleon, and the depiction of Kleon is subtlely and carefully handled to ga in maximum effect from the audience's (and Kleon's) expectations. I have two purposes in this paper: first, to review the interpretations of a well-known 'biographical' passage (Wasps 1284-91), and second, to investigate one implication of that passage as it relates to the presentation by Aristophanes of Kleon in Wasps. In the first part, I am not advancing any new interpretation of that passage; indeed I am content with the opinio communis with one variation for the date of the events in question. I am concerned with the expectations that the spectators (and especially Kleon) must have had when they came to watch Aristophanes' new comedy at the Lenaia of 422 BC. It is how Aristophanes responds to that expectation that provides the major thrust of this paper."
Contains: Content Analysis
Author: Ian C. Storey
From: Electronic Antiquity Vol. 3 no. 2 september 1995

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Last Updated Mar 25, 2014