Review: Three Plays by Aristophanes

Aristophanes is a great playwright but these plays are highly erratic, sort of all over the map, so I have to individually review each one.

The Acharnians (?) – I didn’t get this one. At all. I’d give it an F but I feel utterly ill equipped to truly give it that. It just seems like main character Dikaiopolis runs around with various sacks, girls, and thongs.

The Clouds (B) – I liked this play a lot better because I could see where Aristophanes was going. Clearly the representation of Socrates is about as unfair as it gets but satire was never meant to be fair. And honestly it’s about as fair ultimately as Plato’s portrayal of Socrates because as is generally thought later on Plato starting putting all his beliefs in Socrates’ mouth even though Socrates himself likely didn’t hold them.

Lysistrata (A+) – Save the best for last. I like this book’s style. Lysistrata gets all the women to not have sex in order for peace. And it actually works! In that sense it’s a very optimistic play, beautifully written, and eloquently stated in the mouths of all the characters. I can tell I’ll have to read this play again in the future to get everything I missed, and that’s definitely a good thing!

Final Grade: B+

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