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The Knights of Aristophanes Paperback – February 26, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Adamant Media Corporation (February 26, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1421203766
  • ISBN-13: 978-1421203768
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,041,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
"The Knights" is one of the comic masterpieces of Aristophanes, constituting a direct personal attack on Cleon. The level of invective and satire is pretty astounding, especially since this was only the fourth comedy written by Aristophanes. In his previous comedy, "The Archanians," a character had threatened to cut up Cleon into shoe-leather for the Knights, and in this play the comic playwright makes good on his promise. From satirizing the policies of Cleon's political party and capturing the miseries of war, Aristophanes turns to a personal attack on Cleon as a demagogue.
The comedy begins with two characters, Demosthenes and Nicias, who are caricatures of the historic orators who Aristophanes saw as following public opinion instead of truly leading the people like Pericles. The pair are slaves in the house of Demos, that is to say the citizens of Athens, and are complaining about the new slave, the Paplagonian ("the Tanner"), who represents Cleon and who controls "Demos" by even worst means than they ever did. So they decide to steal the oracles used to persuade Demos and learn that their enemy will be brought down by a sausage-seller. The next thing we know, a sausage-seller stumbles upon stage and the pair convince him to acting, promising him wealth, power, and the support of a thousand knights (who comprise the play's chorus).
At this point the Paphlagonian shows up and the rest of the play consists of mainly a series of agons between him and the sausage-seller in which the two try to out wit, out lie, and outlast each other to win the favor of Demos.
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