Ancient Greek Playwrights

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Ancient Greek Playwrights

Aristophanes (450 BCE - 385 BCE) was a Greek playwright and philosopher. Many people of ancient Greece read his plays to learn more about tradition of Greek drama and the conditions during the time period of when Aristophanes lived. Aristophanes took part in comedic commentaries on Greek life and society. He wrote 40 plays, that were mainly edgy and aggressive, pushing people to respond to the ideas presented. During his time, there was a trend from old comedy to new comedy, involving a trend away from the topical emphasis on people and local issues of old comedy, towards a more cosmopolitan emphasis on generalized situations and stock characters, increasing levels of complexity and realistic plots.


Euripides was a Greek playwright from Phyle who was born in 485 BCE and died in 406 BCE. Even though some of his work had weak structures, he reshaped the ancient structures of Greek tragedy which led many playwrights to use the newly structured Greek tragedy. Euripides is the only playwright that had any fascination with the oppressed, such as: women, Barbarians, children, and slaves. “By giving the female protagonists of the plays Medea and Queen Hecuba both feminine and masculine characteristics, Euripides attempts to undermine the concept that an individual’s competence or incompetence was solely reliant on whether they were masculine or feminine.” (Role of Gender in the Works of Euripides and Aristophanes, Kemay) Also, he treats all sexes in a sophisticated manner in comparison to all of the writers back then by showing real lives of women instead of just as property. This led some other writers to give more respect to women. Euripides also dived into the psychology of the characters unlike many authors. His key contributions to literature were how he developed characters whose downfalls were caused by their own flaws instead of other causes such as fate.


Aeschylus, an ancient greek playwright, was born near the Athens in 525 BC and died in 456 BC. He was the first playwright to ever present his plays as a three part trilogy, rather than individual works. Aeschylus was a pioneer in play writing because he was the “first to allow conflicts and interactions between characters in the play” (The Classical Journal, Gregory), rather that interactions just with the chorus. . This development led other playwrights of the time to incorporate the same techniques he did. His plays had strong moral and religious emphasis, leading playwrights and thinkers to become inspired by his word. Along with religion and morals, his works shined light on the structures of law and government, which eventually led to many more people gaining knowledge in the process of government and law making.




A brief history on the effects and works of Ancient Greek Playwrights.

Citations for information:Gregory, Justina. "Tragedy and Archaic Greek Thought." The Classical Journal 109.4 (2014): 506+. General OneFile. Web. 8 Oct. 2014."Aeschylus." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 10 July 2014. Web. 08 Oct. 2014."Biography of Euripides (c. 485 B.C.E.-406 B.C.E.)." Biography of Euripides. N.p., Oct.-Nov. 2014. Web. 08 Oct. 2014."The Glory That Was Greece." The Glory That Was Greece. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2014. "The Glory That Was Greece." The Glory That Was Greece. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2014.Citations for media:"The Story of Oedipus (Rated “R”)." The Story of Oedipus (Rated “R”). N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Oct. 2014. McMahon, Mary, and Bronwyn Harris. "Aristophanes." WiseGeek. Conjecture, 10 Sept. 2014. Web. 09 Oct. 2014.

480 BC: Euripides is born

525 BC: Aeschylus is born

Aeschylus creates the idea of a "Trilogy"

Aristopanes writes "The Clouds" and changes the public view of Socrates

Euripedes changes ways of looking at comic plays.

472-458 BC: Persians,The seven against Thebes, and Eumenides are written by Aeschylus.

Group 7: Raisa Uddin, Kevin Kim, Olivia FredericksPeriod 9

The Effects of Greek Playwrights in Society


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