Too controversial

This is about Aristophanes’ play Frogs where Aeschylus and Euripides are contrasted. Aristophanes makes it clear that there’s a direct causal link between Euripides’ plays and the increase of egalitarianism and democracy in Athens.

Not sure how well everyone keeps track of all these writers. Euripides is the one that 17th century French theatre considered the height of drama, and the French took offense when the Schlegels put that into question. That question was also put in ancient times by Aristophanes himself.

I was perplexed yesterday upon learning that Aristotle ranked literary genre based on the type of characters contained within. Royalty and nobles vs. townsfolk and slaves approximately.

Aeschylus objects that Euripides has instead turned “good upstanding people into scoundrels” (1011) and transformed Aeschylus’ “noble six-footers” into “civic shirkers, vulgarians, imps, and criminals.” As Aeschylus says of his own characters, they have an “aura of spears, lances, white-crested helmets, green berets, greaves, and seven-ply oxhide hearts”

Aristophanes has Sophocles concede to Aeschylus’ eminence, that’s why it’s Aeschylus vs. Euripides.

This is the disconcertingly titled essay I’m musing on if you’re interested

There are Golden Ages and then there are peaks within those Golden Ages themselves that need to be determined.

I know this isn’t going to make me popular

displaying before the Athenians people like themselves, “bringing them on stage,”

We can look at the drama of that time and trace the process of leveling. It could be said that Aeschylus and Sophocles preserved the ethos of the Age of Heroes of Homer.

Oh man, the very one that was the favorite of the French

Aeschylus scoffs: “I certainly created no whores like Phaedra and Stheneboea

Having generation after generation of whore-mothers certainly would explain French postmodernism, just sayin.

Aeschylus as the poet of nobility, Euripides as the poet of Aphrodite.

Arlene Saxonhouse is another of those ones on that Index.

“I don’t care about nobility, I’m a hole!” Why are you even reading this site, that’s what I want to know.

How foreign this notion is to the modern world

Aeschylus explains the harm of dressing “royals in rags”… has “prompted the crew of the Paralus to talk back to their officers.”

I think this is a debate Aristophanes had in his own soul. It’s like, you’re one to talk about that, Mr. Aristophanes. He’s a like a hyper-Euripides in certain ways. Nonetheless he does have this struggle within himself, as you see above.

Something you have to understand about the four playwrights in question is that at the Dionysia festival a satyr play was performed after three tragedies. So Aeschylus had a sort of inherent proto-Aristophanic element. Problem is, only one satyr play survives, and it’s by Euripides. So we don’t really know the real nature of Aeschylus.

Ahh this Saxonhouse essay is more in the spirit of the Ancien Régime than most on Greek drama. U mad? I wonder the degree to which the appropriation of Euripides led to the French Revolution.

People hate this so much

Aeschylus’ lofty language and richly attired kings teach obedience and respect. The rag-infested egalitarian world where poetry reduces to the colloquialisms of Euripides’ plays fosters resistance to authority as everyone sees himself as equal to all the others.

Note the noble heroines of Sophocles’ dramas as well, like Antigone and Elektra. There’s a degradation of dignity in Euripides’ plays as he incorporates the spirit of the mob. This culminates in the full-blown feminist plays of Aristophanes.

Strangely enough though, the Frogs ends with Dionysus’ preference of Aeschylus and Sophocles over Euripides, which might tell us something about Aristophanes’ own self-understanding

The consequence is sailing “this way and that,” the loss of guidelines, of the direction the ship (or city) should follow as defined by those noble creatures of Aeschylus’ plays.

Ugh, if only the producers of Hollywood would read an essay like this. They’re probably allergic. They are pure Euripideans.

The Frogs revolves around the question of which playwright can “save the city”. It was originally performed in 405 BC. Athens surrendered to Sparta in 404.

We need Aeschylean screenwriters today to save us from the goblins and orcs, and, uh, Phèdres.

We can jump to another form- Plato’s Symposium was written in 385 BC. There, Socrates is depicted as the one who can “save the city” rather than Aristophanes, among others. Speaking of peaks within a Golden Age, that dialogue arguably goes beyond Aeschylus.

Interesting statement from Marx who was an Aeschylus stan

The Greek gods, already once mortally wounded in Aeschylus’ tragedy Prometheus Bound, had to endure a second death, a comic death, in Lucian’s dialogues. Why should history proceed in this way? So that mankind shall separate itself gladly from its past.

I started the morning with Lucian actually, and found myself studying the Frogs instead. I can never emphasize enough that all of this can be interpreted through modern concepts. We could only hope for a Lucian who would put the gods of today to death. We could only hope for an Aeschylus to set the stage by wounding them.

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