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Right I wasnt too sure where to put this, and im afraid that its not my best review but basically, here, I am looking at Frogs and poet and the women. Could you please let me know if i have put this in the wrong place thanks, enjoy...
The two plays by Aristophanes; Frogs and The Poet and the Women were performed with a six year gap, The Poet and the women being the earlier of the two (411 BC) and Frogs the later play (405 BC) during this period of time democracy had been restored, the Battle of Notium between Sparta and Athens, then four years later the deaths of Euripides and Sophocles also in this year the Battle of Arginusae and then a year later Frogs were performed twice, once at the Lenaia and the City Dionysia.
In Poet and the Women, in a short summary is basically a man Mensilochus who disguises himself as a women to get into the Thesmophoria to see what happens and gets caught and goes through a several series of parodies of Euripides plays to try to escape. When Frogs was wrote Euripides had just died, and Dionysus and his slave Xanthias (who appears in Wasps) go down to Hades also known as Pluto's Palace to try and bring Euripides back as there is no good poets left now he is gone. Dionysus disguises himself as Heracles because he is the only person who has gone to Hades and has returned alive. When they get down there Euripides and Aeschylus have a debate and Euripides talks first so we know that he will loose and in the end Dionysus brings back Aeschylus instead of Euripides.
In Poet and the Women Aristophanes makes a lot of immoral comments about Euripides for example: his plays were full of beggars and cripples, his mother ran a vegetable stall on the market, implying here that his family was poor as an upper-class family wouldn't own a vegetable stall:
FIRST WOMAN: …with mud from head to foot by this cabbage-woman's son Euripides."
A bit further on:
SECOND WOMAN: "Comes from being brought up on a vegetable stall, I suppose - no Class."
Aristophanes comments in this play that his characters used ingenious plots to get out of awkward situations. Also that Euripides is well-known as a misogynist who deliberately picked dramatic subjects that discredit women; making women despise him. However this last point has no actual evidence that Euripides was a misogynist, even though he does explore the way that men treat women and there suffering or misdeeds in his plays.
In Frogs we see a sort of similar way of insulting Euripides, however it is a bit different to begin with; at the beginning of the play we see Dionysus going to Hades with Xanthias to rescue Euripides because there are no good poets left, yet towards the end Euripides plays are slated again in the same way as in Poet and the women for example women fall into a lot of the jokes that Aeschylus throws at Euripides:
"With a pinch of Cephisophon"
Cephisophon was Euripides' lodger who was rumoured to have had an affair with Euripides wife, hence the jokes about "Having her eye on the lodger" in Poet and the Women. Then again we have another joke about his mother owning a vegetable stall; about Euripides origin:
"Lucky you don't have to explain yours"
This joke made by Aeschylus was based on the rumours of Euripides lowly social origins. We also get Aeschylus making jokes about Euripides plays having beggars and cripples in as well as in Poet and the Women.
Well, here comes my first argument about Aristophanes having a love-hate relationship with Euripides, yes, of course there is a lot of evidence as to them having such a relationship if not a lot of evidence there has to be some…BUT there is also a lot of evidence that Aristophanes hated Euripides because of the way he seems to use Euripides as a target to shoot at in almost every play, especially Frogs and Poet and the Women, however, how about comparing this to modern day criticism, there are a lot of jokes about Michael Jackson changing the colour of his skin and how dodgy his nose is after all the plastic surgery to make him look white, this doesn't necessarily mean that we hate him. But then again it could have been the other way round back then, Aristophanes could have absolutely hated Euripides guts.
My second argument is Aristophanes uses Euripides as someone to dig at, it could be because Euripides was also a famous playwright as was Aristophanes, especially in Frogs as Euripides has actually died around the same time that Frogs was wrote and performed.
Another point to make is that the people who could afford to go see Aristophanes comedies could also afford to go see Euripides tragedies and so Aristophanes could use Euripides because a lot if not all of the audience would have understood the jokes he were making about him, this is a good example of how Aristophanes "hated" him on stage but could have been best friends off-stage, there is no evidence to show that they were friends but on the other hand there is no real evidence that Aristophanes and Euripides hated each other, only what Aristophanes has wrote in his plays.
Back on to the topic of the two plays Poet and the Women and Frogs, although we get a lot of immoral comments made by Aristophanes about Euripides in these two plays, if Aristophanes hated Euripides so much, would he want to include him in his work? But then again looking at it in a different perspective he could just be making fun of him if he hated him so.
In Frogs, as mentioned before Aristophanes seems to feel bad in his writing that Euripides is dead because he wrote about Dionysus going down to the underworld to get him, but towards the end we see him throwing more digs at Euripides, his plays and ways of writing, could there be a possibility Aristophanes finds out something about Euripides whilst he was in the middle of writing the play? Or maybe he just wanted a twist to the play, to keep the audiences attention.
In my opinion I think that there was a possibility Aristophanes wanted to make a sort of remembrance for Euripides after he had passed away, maybe he wanted the audience to remember him and the only way to do this in his comedy and well-known reputation for slating Euripides was, well, slating him, it proved successful anyway, because came first and had a second performance, which was very rare.
So, from reading Poet and the Women and Frogs how far would it be true to say that Aristophanes and Euripides had a love-hate relationship? Well, to be quite honest I'm not sure that there is enough knowledge here to say for definite. When there is no actual evidence like a diary that Aristophanes kept, to tell us that he actually hated Euripides, one has to look at all the points and all the perspectives to try and make sense of the past. It seems as though Aristophanes hated him, but personally I think that there was a lot more to it than that, maybe that possibly they could have been friends and then the tables turned and they became enemies, or that they were simply friends making fun of each other.