- (c. 450 - c. 385 BC) The great Atheniancomic dramatist. His earlier plays are the only examples of the OldComedy to have survived intact. In his last works he developedthe more subtle and subdued style known as Middle Comedy.Aristophanes's plays are colourful, imaginative, and highly irreverent.His humour ranges from razor-sharp political satire and entertainingblasphemy, to the most obvious sexual innuendos and jokes about bodilyfunctions. Although he was enormously popular in his heyday and hiswork is a perennial favourite amongst classical students, the difficultyof writing really funny translations and his uninhibited coarsenesshave prevented his work from finding a wider modern audience. Only11 of his numerous works are extant, the best-known being TheAcharnians, The Clouds, The Frogs, TheBirds, The Knights, Lysistrata, and ThePeace.