The Wasps by Aristophanes
The master of ‘Old Comedy’ has arrived!
The Wasps is one of eleven surviving plays from the man who is largely considered “The Father of Comedy”, Aristophanes. The play is considered to be a masterful example of Old Comedy, and is one of the earliest examples of political satire.
It is believed that Aristophanes wrote the play for the purpose of poking fun at the Athenian demagogue, Cleon as well the rampant use of the law courts within ancient Athenian society.
The play opens on a strange scene, a house guarded by soldiers with a large net cast overtop it. It is said that the occupant is an addict of sorts. What is he addicted to? Is it drinking or gambling? No, his drug of choice is voluntary jury service!
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The Wasps, by Aristophanes
Commentary by Ben Potter
Compiled by Ben Potter