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ARISTOPHANES VIEWS ON WAR AND PEACE Aristophanes hated war among other reasons for its stupidity its corruption its waste and dearth Dickinson 7 Aristophanes lived during a period of sustained violence The Peloponnesian War between the Greek citystates Athens and Sparta lasted with an interval of uneasy peace from 431-404 BC By the end of the war the Athenian Empire had been destroyed and the whole nature of the people of Athens had changed dramatically The result of this horrific civil war troubled nearly everyone in particular Aristophanes Fortunately Aristophanes had the vehicle to portray his along with societys long time hunger for peace He was a responsible citizen and he believed that he as a poet had to bring his ideas and feelings on the fall of Athens and war to the forefront He loved the citystate and therefore spoke to the city as a whole Through his plays The Acharnians The Peace and Lysistrata this desire for the hostility to end is clearly seen The Acharnians reflects the conditions in Athens during the sixth year of the Peloponnesian War Pericles the general of the Athenian army had a very definitive war strategy It was to defeat the enemy quickly by maintaining control of the seas without risking a land battle with the superior Spartan army So in effect the area around Athens was pretty much surrendered to the enemy This caused all the farmers of Attica to retreat within the city walls and watch as the Spartan invaders ravaged their fields These citizens suffered as much from the added expense and discomfort of city life as they did from the loss of their crops Dover 31 But by 425 Pericles was dead and unfortunately for the refugees the war continued on with no end in sight This is where the play The Acharnians begins Dicaeopolis the hero in The Acharnians is just such a refugee in the city In the prologue
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