Frogs is by common consent one of the finest achievements of Aristophanes (456 BC to 386 BC), the greatest writer of comic drama in classical Athens and among most famous writers of dramatic comedy in our Western tradition. The play was first performed at a Festival of Dionysus in Athens in 405 BC, at a time when the disastrous Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta was nearing its end. The production so popular that it received the extraordinary honor of a second production and Aristophanes received a special honor from the city.In the play the god Dionysus, in the form of a middle-aged human being, insists on travelling to Hades to bring back the tragic poet Euripides (who had died the year before), so that Athens can once again enjoy fine poetry. His slave Xanthias accompanies him. The trip is full of robust comical encounters with a range of characters, including Hercules, Charon, the famous Chorus of the Frogs, various underworld figures, and, finally Euripides and Aeschylus, who stage a debate over which of them is the greatest poet, an argument which has them mercilessly satirizing each other's workFor all its extremely funny stage business, Frogs raises some important and still relevant questions about the nature of dramatic art and the role of the dramatist. It also explores and exposes the self-serving attitudes of citizens during a time of war.
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Achilles AEACUS Aegina AESCHYLUS AESCHYLUS and EURIPIDES AESCHYLUS reciting Apollo Aristophanes Athenian Athenian politician Athens audience baggage BASH battle of Arginusae Brekekekex koax koax bring carrying Cephisophon CHARON CHORUS LEADER CHORUS OF FROGS CHORUS OF INITIATES Cinesias Cleisthenes Cleophon clever CORPSE dead Demeter DIONYSUS All right DIONYSUS Oh DIONYSUS What’s DIONYSUS Yes door EURIPIDES All right EURIPIDES continuing EURIPIDES reciting father fight fool FROGS Brekekekex koax gods grab Hades he’s hear hell HERCULES Hermes Iacchus Iophon joke keep Kerameikos lion skin little oil jug load Look lost his little man’s master melodies monodies Muses noble obols Oeneus once one’s PANDOKEUTRIA parody pick piss PLATHANE play PLUTO poet Poseidon prologues sacred SERVANT ship slave someone Someone’s songs Sophocles speak stuff talk tell Theramenes There’s thing Tophlatto-thratto-phlilatto-thrat torches tragedy verse What’s going who’s words wretched XANTHIAS yell you’re Zeus