By Michael Vickers

The traditional view of Aristophanes bristles with difficulties. vital testimony for Alcibiades’ paramount function in comedy is continually skipped over, and the culture that “masks have been made to seem just like the komodoumenoi, in order that earlier than an actor spoke a be aware, the viewers may realize who was once being attacked” is rarely invoked. If those testimonia are taken into consideration, a desirable photograph emerges, the place the komodoumenoi are in line with the Periclean loved ones: older characters on Pericles himself, more youthful on Alcibiades. Aspasia, Pericles’ mistress, and Hipparete, Alcibiades’ spouse, lie at the back of many woman characters, and Alcibiades’ ambiguous sexuality additionally permits him to be proven at the degree as a girl, significantly as Lysistrata. there's a mammoth overlap among the anecdotal culture on the subject of the historic figures and the plotting of Aristophanes’ performs. This extends to speech styles, the place Alcibiades’ speech illness is lampooned. Aristophanes is continually serious of Alcibiades’ mercurial politics, and his works is usually noticeable to have served as an aide-mémoire for Thucydides and Xenophon. If the argument awarded this is right, then a lot present scholarship on Aristophanes could be set aside. 

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Aristophanes and Alcibiades: Echoes of Contemporary History in Athenian Comedy by Michael Vickers


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