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Aristophanes' Wasps

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University of Toronto St. George
Victoria Wohl

03.23.11 Aristophanes Wasps - Pseudo-Xenophon saw the demos as the Other - Internal differences challenge the idea of Us ~ up to this point, weve seen Athens Greece as a unity, the Self - Drama a way for Athenians to think through issues of self-definition - Theatre sponsored by the rich (liturgies), subsiding prices for the demos ~ place where the rich meets the poor - Rituals = emphasize importance of demos and reward the contribution of the rich - Tragedy: o Superhuman elites who lead great lives but meet horrible ends o Chorus = demos ~ voices of reason, famous for middling philosophy (meden agan) Dont be excessively rich or impoverished - Need these elites but theres always a danger of bringing trouble - Comedy not allowed to criticize the demos so they attack the elites o Politicians often targeted >> power of demos emphasized o Mockery = political critique o Laughter = populous power - Comedies ~ inside jokes, most of the people made fun of was in the audience - No mockery for the demos? ~ the politician mocked was elected chosen by the people so the demos indirectly mocked - Dikasteria one of the most central democratic institutions, the cour
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