The Knights

By Aristophanes

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The Knights is Aristophanes' comedy in which a sausage-seller is enlisted by a couple of terrorized slaves to overthrow their abusive, sycophant overseer, Paphlagonian, by winning the favor of their master, Demos ("the people"). The Knights, a prestigious order of citizens who act as the chorus, pledge their support to the sausage-seller, who beats the flatterer at his own game in a witty, sarcastic verbal contest. The character Paphlagonian is a satiric portrait of the powerful demagogue Cleon, who had brought charges against Aristophanes for having "slandered the city in the presence of foreigners" in The Acharnians. Because no actor would risk Cleon's retribution by performing Paphlagonian, and no mask-builder would construct the likeness of his face, Aristophanes himself is said to have played the character in face paint. The sausage-seller wins and Paphlagonian is sent from the house of Demos. The play was well received and won first prize in the festival of 424 B.C.

Subject: Humanities -> Theatre -> Special Topics

The Knights
Publisher: Hayes Barton Press 424 B.C.
Imprint: Originals
Language: English


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