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The Greek playwright Aristophanes lived from 448 to about 385 BCE He is thought to have been born in Athens in the township of Cydathenaeum and was probably wealthy and well educated He had three sons Philippos Araros and Nikostrato who were all comic poets Aristophanes wrote satire and comedy and is the only writer of Old Comedy whose plays are still intact During his lifetime Athens underwent many cultural and social changes and so he had nearly unlimited targets for his satire He wrote over forty plays of which eleven survive His first two plays which have been lost are The Banqueters and The Babylonians and his surviving plays are The Acharnians The Knights The Clouds The Wasps The Peace The Birds Lystistrata Thesmorphoriazusae The Frogs Ecclesiazusa and Plutus He wrote what is considered the first anti-war comedy with The Acharnians in which a stubborn war-weary farmer makes peace with the Spartans He is accused of being a traitor and is forced to turn to the tragic playwright Euripides for help Euripides takes him through many tragic scenarios Lystistrata also advocates pacifism It is a lighthearted comedy about the women of Athens who tired of losing sons to the war conspire to deny their husbands sexual intercourse until they make peace Aristophanes loved to pick on those with bloated egos like pompous tragedy writers and the powerful inept He wrote a particularly scathing play The Knights about Cleaon Pericless successor It was said that Cleaon was so powerful that no actor dared to take the role so being out of options Aristophanes played Cleaon his face smudged with the dregs of wine to symbolize the alcoholic dictator In The Clouds he attacked the philosopher Socrates He assailed Euripides in three of his plays - The Acharnians Thesmorphoriazusae and The Frogs His last two plays were political but they lacked the meaningfulness of his earlier plays The Spartans had defeated Athens and liberties had decreased
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