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University Connected Learning
Aristophanes is the only comic playwright of the Classical Greek era whose works have survived. One of the most original dramatists of the Western tradition, his plays feature a brilliant combination of fantasy, social-political satire, and use of absurd characters and plots to shine a spotlight on his society's institutions and values--and to skewer Athenian politicians who continued to promote the disastrous Peloponnesian War. The Clouds famously caricatures the philosopher Socrates; Women at the Thesmophoria blends elaborate parody of tragedy with transvestite burlesque; and in The Frogs, the Greek tragic playwrights Aeschylus and Euripides engage in a vituperative "literary criticism" of each other's plays in the Underworld--presided over by the god Dionysus.