Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Aristophanes Views :: Aristophanes Greek Theatre Plays Essays

Aristophanes' Views There have been many arguments as to Aristophanes views and politics. Some arguing that it is almost impossible to determine any serious view points Aristophanes may have being trying to say through his plays. While many others may argue, that points made in the Parabasis and through the various comic styles, are the key to what Aristophanes thought and believed. With so little evidence of Aristophanes himself, it is hard to prove a case either way. While taking into account the social climate at the time and what the main aims of the plays were, I will be looking into Thesmophoriazusae and whether Aristophanes was attempting to make any serious points through various styles of humour. In order to determine whether Aristophanes was putting forward a serious point, it helps to look at the back ground and context in which his plays were written. In Greek theatre the audience was made up solely of men. with the only women being those on stage, and even then only allowed to play silent parts such as slaves. Throughout the play, women are a common theme, at the time in which Thesmophoriazusae was written (411bc), attitudes towards them were much the same as in many societies. Women were inferior to men, in almost all parts of society. They were the property of men. Whether it be their husbands or their fathers, they could not vote, could not hold a position of office, and could not own any property. However in some parts of Athenian society they were considered to be almost the equals of men, religion is a prime example of this. In religious matters women were at times essential, in burials and civic sacrifice rituals. In contrast to this, Pericles’ citizenship law (451bc) raised their status to that of most prized possessions. The law stated that only an Athenian wife could produce a legitimate male heir. She became the only thing that could allow the husband’s family name to be carried on. It became a constant fear for the husbands, that their wives would be adulterous and produce a child, as the child would grow up and have a legitimate claim on the family possessions. Women became far more protected by their husband’s, than they ever had been previously. A wife with both an Athenian mother and Athenian father, became highly prized. This of course was more of a problem for a rich husband than a poor husband, as they had more to lose. However due to a lack of being able to afford help around the house, women of poor husbands had greater freedom, as they had to go out and fetch things needed for the

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