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Classics - Notes on Acharnians

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Introduction

The Acharnians Satire & Impersonation * Ambassadors are mocked. o Almighty boasting. o "Strut" in. o Peacock feathers. * Ambassadors exaggerate journey. o Further mocked by Dikaiopolis' snide, sarcastic comments. * Ambassador of Persia is a liar. o Pseudo-Persian. o Tries to fool people at assembly. * Theoros the diplomat. o Promise of great army, weak army comes. o Exaggerated story. o Useless to Athens, like the ambassador. * Euripides. o Writing plays in the bath - eccentric. o Euripides is made to look amusing, but is a liked character as he is kind and generous to the hero. o Over-dramatic about his loss - he has only lost a few costume parts. o Stuck in his own genre - speaks in tragic verse most of the time. o Even his slave speaks tragically. * Lamachos. o A real general, so audience immediately expects exaggerated characteristics and stereotyping. o (See character notes). * Boetian stereotype. o Wide boy, businessman. o Likes to be entertained and the centre of attention. o Attracts attention to himself, i.e. with musicians. o He is a social chameleon; he thanks Dikaiopolis for ridding of the musicians, where he requested the song in the first place! o Regular sales talk and repeated phrases, i.e. ...read more.

Middle

* Tragic rhyming verse mocks tragic speech. * Mocking of philosophers for talking oddly. * "Don't your ideas get wet?" - Euripides in the bath. * Euripides is very serious. * After a big build-up that leads one to expect that Euripides can only speak in tragic verse, he speaks totally normally. * "Playwrights are a stingy lot". o Mocks all playwrights, including self. o Self-deprecating. * Overly grand and pretentious way of speaking from Lamachos. * Pretending to be frightened by Lamachos. * Pun/word play - "great crested brag". * Chorus' parabasis in which they set up Aristophanes as the great hero that will save Athens. * Valetudinarian Megarian - pun ... valetudinarian is somebody who is always ill. * Calling whips market officials is amusing, as whips are inanimate objects. * Boetian claims to be exhausted, but is carrying nothing. * 'Wasps' 'Wheezing bag pipers' - shooing the musicians away as if they were insects. * 'Only like classical music' - despite requesting this 'popular rubbish'. * 'Oink-oink' - piglet sounds. * Hostile lamp-wicks. o Lamp-wicks are inanimate - they can't be hostile! This is a humorous false charge. * Wrap yourself in gorgon? Keep warm? * Tragic messenger speech - amusing change of style. The content of the speech is totally nonsensical: o Twists ankle. ...read more.

Conclusion

* Dikaiopolis holds Lakretides hostage. * Dikaiopolis promises to make a tragic speech in tragic costume. * To get this costume, he must visit Euripides. * Dikaiopolis persuades Euripides to give him many 'tragic' items. * Dikaiopolis makes a big speech that shows Aristophanes' agenda. * Dikastes agrees with Dikaiopolis, but Polypragmon disagrees. Polypragmon summons Lamachos to help him. * Dikaiopolis pretends to be afraid of Lamachos, to which Lamachos is flattered. * Dikaiopolis offends Lamachos. Lamachos then storms off saying he is going to terrorise the Megarians. * The parabasis follows where the chorus remind the audience of Aristophanes and how he is a great playwright. Scene Three Dikaiopolis Megarian Daughters Nikarchos Boetian Ismenias Musicians * Dikaiopolis opens his market. * A Megarian enters, attempting to sell his daughters for food. Dikaiopolis catches on, however, and sends the Megarian away with some goods. * Nikarchos claims he will report the Megarian to the authorities, but Dikaiopolis chases him off. * A Boetian also successfully trades with Dikaiopolis, receiving an Athenian informer for some Copaic eels. Scene Four Herald Dikaiopolis Lamachos Chorus Slave * Lamachos is called from his house to prepare for war. * Dikaiopolis is called from his house to prepare for a drinking contest. * Lamachos returns from war badly injured - a pure accident and self-inflicted injury, however! * Dikaiopolis returns from the drinking contest with dancing girls. * The play ends with Dikaiopolis making a closing speech. ...read more.

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