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Aristophanes: Knights$
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Alan H. Sommerstein

Print publication date: 1981

Print ISBN-13: 9780856681776

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9780856681776.001.0001

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Introductory Note

Introductory Note

Chapter:
(p.2) Introductory Note
Source:
Aristophanes: Knights
Author(s):

Alan H. Sommerstein

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9780856681776.003.0001

This chapter focuses on Knights as the first play that Aristophanes produced on his own behalf. It mentions that Knights was performed at the Lenaea of 424 B.C. and won first prize, defeating the Satyrs of Cratinus and the Porters of Aristomenes. It also talks about how Knights was produced as a violent attack on Cleon, who was credited for the victory at Pylos during the Peloponnesian War and became a national hero. The chapter criticizes the whole style of political leadership in Knights, of which Cleon was the foremost representative. It describes the deep pessimistic content of the play, in which the Athenian people are portrayed by the old man Demosthenes, who is shown as being so stupid and gullible.

Keywords:   Aristophanes, Knights, Cleon, Athenian people, Demosthenes, political leadership

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