The Frogs



  • A comedy by Aristophanes produced in 407 BCat the Lenaea, when it won the first prize and was giventhe unusual honour of a repeat performance. The story centres on thegod Dionysus, in whose honour all Athenian tragedy was written.Since Athens no longer has a worthy tragic poet, Dionysus travelsto the underworld to bring back Euripides, but he meets Aeschylusthere who insists that it is he who should return since his achievementsare greater. Euripides and Aeschylus engage in an absurd poetic debate.Dionysus sides with Euripides as the modern tragedian who best capturedthe city's mood during its decline, but eventually decides that Athensneeds the old-fashioned Aeschylus, who had represented it in its heyday.

    The Frogs, a gentle play for Aristophanes, anticipatesMiddle Comedy. It includes memorable comic scenes betweenDionysus and his slave Xanthias as well as clever parodies of Aeschyleanand Euripidean tragedy.