Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Form V and Frogs

Rebecca Roe writes: This comedy was written by Aristophanes in 405 B.C. for a particular purpose, to comment on corruption in Athenian politics.

It is a political comedy in which the god Dionysus goes to Hades to bring back a dead poet. It is a fantasy with many political references. Aristophanes wants the audience to understand how a poet can help the people in their time of need. It was written to make people laugh at his political message, with the comedy being quite crude at times. Aristophanes wants Athens to come to peace with Sparta and he shows them how to achieve this...

I found the play very funny and as entertaing today as I'm sure it was back then.

Paddy Owens writes: While 'Frogs' is a comedy it has underlying political points about matters such as slaves being given the vote after the Battle of Arginusae. Aristophanes also makes the point that Alcibiades, who has been banished, should be allowed to help Athens in their war against Sparta.

The story is about Dionysus and his slave Xanthias going down to Hades in search of a dead poet, Euripides. Along the way they meet many different characters and end up in lots of different situations. At one point they are both trying to prove they are gods by not feeling pain when they are whipped. Eventually they meet Euripides and Aeschylus who have a contest about who is the best poet. The winner is decided by weighing the words of their poetry!

Overall 'Frogs' is quite a funny play and is very different from the other plays we have studied. It is very funny and also carries a moral message to the Athenians.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Oedipus Rex

Here are some thoughts from Form V:

Crispin Maenpaa writes:After reading 'Oedipus Rex' the first thing that comes to mind is how disturbing the play truly is. The plot centres on Oedipus, who, it is prophesied, will kill his father and marry his mother. The storyline involves him uncovering how this dark and eerie prophecy was fulfilled.

The action is unrelenting as key events occur. This keeps the reader on the edge of his seat and it's probably the most interesting play we have studied. It serves to give the reader numerous lessons such as the idea of 'hamartia' which means a flaw in character. We learn from Oedipus' flaws and seek to improve them in our own lives. the play teaches us to let certain things lie uncovered.

All in all it is a very enjoyable and fast paced play and is worth a read even for those who don't take Classical Studies as a subject.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Thought for the week

In his final meditation of the year, Marcus Aurelius ponders the inevitable:

'How many came into this world with me have already left it!'