• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and Contrast how Aristophanes depicts Euripides in "The Frogs" and "The Poet and The Women".

Extracts from this document...


Richard Lawson Miss Francis Classical Civilisation Coursework Compare and Contrast how Aristophanes depicts Euripides in "The Frogs" and "The Poet and The Women". Aristophanes and Euripides were poets in Athens during the Peloponnesian War. They had very different writing styles. Euripides was the older and he wrote Greek Tragedy and Comedy. He was one of the three important tragedy writers of the time, the others were Aeschylus an Scophocles. Euripides introduced new methods of handling the traditional myths, for example he used realism in his subject matter and was interested in the way women thought and how they acted. This is shown in his plays "Hippolytus" and "The Trojan Women". Aristophanes wrote comedies in which inventive situations and colourful language were typical. His poems were mainly concerned with situation which was topical at that time. He satirized politicians and scholars and parodied his fellow poets. He used political and social fantasy a great deal as in the women's sex strike in "Lysistrata". Aristophanes wrote two parodies which featured the tragic poet Euripides. These were "The Poet and the Women" and the "Frogs". Euripides died before Aristophanes wrote the "Frogs" and so he was able to make the parody greater. Aristophenes wrote "The Poet and the Women" while Euripides was still alive and a respected and famous author. ...read more.


He arrives in Hades only to find out that position of the best poet in Hades was in dispute, "Oh, there's great goings on among the dead these days, great goings on. Civil war, you might call it" (Page 185). Aeschylus the older Athenian poet, who wrote at least 50 years before Aristophanes, was being challenged by Euripides, "Well then along comes Euripides and start showing off to all the fellers we've got down here - cut-throats, highwaymen, murders, burglars, regular rough lot they are", (Page 185) Euripides had the support of the bandits, rogues and the worst men in general while Aeschylus had the sole support of Sophocles, "he's sent a message: with this contest coming on, he says, he'll stand by for third man - if Aeschylus wins he'll just go on as before, but if Euripides wins he'll take him on himself."(Page 186). Sophocles was a friend of Aristophanes. Dionysus decided that even though Euripides had more support, it was Aeschylus chosen to restore Athens to its former glory, "Well in my heart of hearts I have known all the time. No question about it, the man for me is" (Page 210). Euripides in "The Poet and The Woman" is extremely comical especially when he is playing his own tragic heroes as they have heroic qualities which he lacks, other than loyalty which he shows when he tries to rescues Mnesilochus from his Scythian captor. ...read more.


However, in "The Frogs", Aristophanes uses Euripides as a gimmick and exploits his death by replacing Euripides real personality with that of a demagogue whom he hates and blames for the continuing problems that plague Athens. When the social and political situation was stable Aristophanes wrote in a way that reflected this. He made fun of his fellow author Euripides by parodying his characteristics, by emphasising and exaggerating his behaviour to make him comical. When he wrote the "Frogs" he felt he had a point to make. Athens was no longer a carefree society, the political situation was difficult, and the War was going against the Athenian's. Aristophanes wanted to teach the people that they should return to their old values. When he was writing the "Frogs" he no longer wanted to make fun of Euripides but to use him to show the people where they were going wrong. He portrayed Euripides as a manipulative power greedy demagogue who was interested only in himself. He did this as he thought that making Euripides the villain in his comedy would make a greater impression on his audience than by actually stating what he thought in a straight forward way. Aristophanes' aim in using Euripides was to make people think while they were watching and enjoying his plays and to make them understand the necessity of returning to the old values. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Classics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Classics essays

  1. The portrayal of Women in The Trojan Women and Medea by Euripides and in ...

    These helpless women are left "blind" by the Achaeans, unable to see where they will conclude their sorrowful lives. However, they remain goodhearted and caring as is clear when the leader announces, "Look, here are your women bringing in their arms from the spoils of Troy, adornments to wrap the corpse in" (Euripides, The Trojan Women 284).

  2. Discuss the causes and origins of the Peloponnesian War.

    Athens also wanted possession of the ships of the Corcyrian navy, which was the third largest in Greece. Athens and Corinth clashed again over the Corinthian colony of Potidaea in 432BC. Potidaea had ties with Corinth but it had been an ally of Athens.

  1. In Euripides Play, how important is it that Medea is a foreigner, not a ...

    However, Jason probably would have never re-married because Medea is a princess and this would give him royal standing already so he would be satisfied with where he was and Medea would not have killed her sons at all. However, this would mean that there would be no play at all and that is pointless.

  2. Giving examples describe the way in which Aristophanes tried to make his audience laugh; ...

    Finally we see a lot of farce jokes used in the WASPs from crude jokes about sex with slave girls to toilet humour. For example we see Bdelycleon convincing his father to stay at home and set up his own court room and we see

  1. To what extent do you agree that Phaedra and Hippolytus are in control of ...

    This leads to what is probably the pinnacle point in the whole play, were Hippolytus comes onto the stage in front of Phaedra and is shown to react very badly to this information giving a very misogynistic speech in the process.

  2. Hippolytus by Euripides

    Phaedra's manipulative Nurse persuades Phaedra to tell her why she is doing so and advises her just to tell him, however Phaedra s not keen on this idea and asks the Nurse to make her a potion to help her rid herself of these feelings.

  1. "By the end of his plays, Euripides leaves the audience without one character to ...

    The only character in 'Hecabe' that we can fully sympathise with is Polyxena. She dies as a sacrifice to Achilles but she dies with honour, respect and dignity. Qualities that are incredibly hard to be revered for, but she does and she is one of my most favourite characters in not only Ancient Greek tragedy, but in all theatre.

  2. In Euripides' tragedy, Medea, is plot more important than character?

    Euripides shows how people react strangely to crisis. This is demonstrated in Jason's reactions when he finds out his children are dead. Strangely what he wants to know is where they were killed, "Where did she kill them? Indoors or out here?"

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work