Meta-Theatrical Frogs

I’m reading Aristophanes’ Frogs at the moment. – I’ve actually read all of Aristophanes before – when, upon a time, long ago, I did a course in Greek Comedy (in fact, I’ve read all of Greek comedy – i.e. Aristophanes, and some odd bits of Menander too).

Frogs, of course, contains within it every single element of both modernism and post-modernism (perhaps with the exception of the stream-of-consciousness technique – hard to reproduce in theatre).

A particular passage that made me smile: – Euripides is contrasting his own work with that of Aeschylus, claiming his makes people think, it makes them question what they’re told, upsets their complacency – you know, all those idiotic things people always like to claim a good novel should do, to which Dionysus responds:

That’s right: whenever an Athenian comes home nowadays he shouts at the servants and starts asking, “Why is the flour jar not in its proper place? What do you mean by biting the head of this sprat? What’s happened to that cup I had last year? Where is yesterday’s garlic, who’s been nibbling at this olive?” Whereas before Euripides came along they just sat and stared idiotically.


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