We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Who is Aristophanes?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
PublicPeople is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At PublicPeople, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Aristophanes was a Greek playwright and philosopher who lived from 450 BCE to around 385 BCE. Little is known about the personal history of this man, although he was obviously highly educated and celebrated in Greek society, but his plays survive as a fascinating record of a turbulent period in Greek history. Many students of Ancient Greece read the plays of Aristophanes to learn more about the ancient tradition of Greek drama and the historical conditions in Athens during the period in which Aristophanes lived.

What is known about Aristophanes is that he was born into a reasonably wealthy family which could afford to educate him well. He was obviously deeply interested in Greek philosophy and current events, and he was one of an illustrious group of Greek playwrights who offered comedic commentaries on Greek life and society. Evidence also suggests that Aristophanes enjoyed some fame during his lifetime, and that he was probably a celebrated member of Greek society.

It is estimated that Aristophanes wrote around 40 plays during his lifetime, with 11 complete plays surviving to the modern day, including The Frogs, The Birds, The Clouds, Lysistrata, Plutus, The Wasps, and The Knights. Some people call Aristophanes the “Father of Comedy” or the “Prince of Ancient Comedy,” in a reference to the fact that his plays are some of the earliest surviving examples of comedic writing, as the work of the comedians who were his contemporaries did not survive to the present day.

The work of Aristophanes is marked by a very acerbic wit, a keen political eye, and a penchant for farce, satire, and physical pratfalls. The plots of his plays are not necessarily very involved or consistent, but the verse is often extremely clear and quite beautiful, especially in the original Attic Greek. The plays of Aristophanes also feature a great deal of obscenity, and his plays were often edgy and aggressive, pushing people to respond.

Aristophanes used his plays to comment on issues like war, the Greek educational system, and Greek society. One of his most famous plays, Lysistrata, has become well-known as one of the earliest works of anti-war literature, as the play is about Athenian women who deprive their husbands of marital privileges until they agree to stop making war. It was also a remarkable work because it was the first play to feature a female protagonist. The work of Aristophanes continues to be engaging, dynamic, interesting, and revealing today, indicating the power which great literature has to transcend barriers of time, culture, and language.

PublicPeople is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a PublicPeople researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By widget2010 — On Sep 20, 2011

@FernValley- If you like Greek theatre, Charles Mee is a great modern playwright to get into. He takes ancient Greek and other sources and redoes them, chopping apart dialogue but keeping the original story, and also encouraging every production to add its own found material and other elements. I can't even really explain to give it justice, but the message to me is sort of like you were saying; it can overtly explicit or violent, but when you get past that he has a lot to say about humanity.

By FernValley — On Sep 19, 2011

@jholcomb- That's true, although that is why I loved the play in college. The class that read it was pretty divided, between people who thought it was over the top and people who found it really funny. I think, though, that once people look past the obviously overt undertones of that play, there is a really important message about war- it's really a depth that I think many comedies these days lack.

By jholcomb — On Sep 19, 2011

Trying to put on Aristophanes' Lysistrata is a sure way to make local headlines! High school drama teachers have gotten themselves in hot water over it. It's not, of course, that the play is in any way explicit, but the subject is just so "adult."

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
PublicPeople, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

PublicPeople, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.