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How does Aristophanes portray women in The Poet and the Women and Assemblywomen? How accurate a portrayal of the life style of contemporary Athenian women are these plays likely to be?

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  • Essay length: 1169 words
  • Submitted: 07/11/2003
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AS and A Level Classics

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STEPHANIE JONES

How does Aristophanes portray women in The Poet and the Women and Assemblywomen? How accurate a portrayal of the life style of contemporary Athenian women are these plays likely to be?

In the plays of Aristophanes there are two main themes that stand out more than any of the other smaller ones; he was a politically motivated playwright and some of his plays suggest that he was quite anti-feminist. However, men of ancient Athens it seems have a perception that their wives are alcoholic nymphomaniacs; that they are always drinking neat wine and at the women only festivals all that the women do is drink. This of course is highly unlikely. I am analysing two of Aristophanes' comedies, 'The Poet and the Women' and 'Assemblywomen'-It is not known for definite but The Poet and the Women was probably performed at City Dionysia in 411 B.C. This play is unusual compared with some of the others as it has little relevance to politics in Athens at that time. Assemblywomen was first performed around the late 390's B.C. it is known for definite that it was performed as the closing lines of the play are- " March

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