05/25/14 • 29 min
Dr. Heather Sebo begins by discussing the proposal in the parabasis of Aristophanes Frogs that clemency be extended to citizens exiled for their involvement in the oligarchic coup of 411 BCE. An instance of Aristophanes’ immersion in the issues and debates of his times is the way he alludes to the debasing of the coinage (discussed in a previous lecture), using it as a metaphor for the idea that good citizens are in exile while slaves become citizens. Also revealing of contemporary attitudes is the shift in Dionysos’ initial intention to bring Euripides back from Hades because he finds his poetry thrilling and stimulating to his ultimate decision for Aeschylus as the poet most likely to encourage patriotism and unquestioning self-sacrifice in the current military emergency.
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