Tag Archives: comedy

Aristophanes

 – Master of Comedy

The birth year of Aristophanes (c. 448-385 BC), the great comic playwright and poet of Athens, is uncertain. He is known to have been about the same age as Eupolis, and is said to have been “almost a boy” when his first comedy (The Banqueters, since lost) was brought out in 427 BC.

Poster for The Birds, by Aristophanes, for a performance at Cambridge University. Public domain.
Poster for The Birds, by Aristophanes, for a performance at Cambridge University. Public domain.

Although tragedy and comedy had their common origin in the festivals of Dionysus, the regular establishment of tragedy at Athens preceded by half a century that of comedy. This initial period of comedy is called the Old Comedy and may be said to have lasted about 80 years (470-390 BC). Of the forty poets who are named as having illustrated it the chief were Cratinus, Eupolis and Aristophanes. Continue reading Aristophanes