A Scathing Attack on All Levels of Athenian Society and Its Political Leaders or Just Light- Hearted Fun? What Is Your Opinion of “the Knights”?

Topics: Aristophanes, Peloponnesian War, Politicians Pages: 3 (888 words) Published: April 26, 2013
A scathing attack on all levels of Athenian society and its political leaders or just light- hearted fun? What is your opinion of “The Knights”?

The knights is a scathing attack on Athenian society. Aristophanes makes the play this way through the constant attacks on the Pathlagonian, the many negative comments on the people and how he uses comedic techniques to attack Athenian society. Although the play is a heavy attack on Athenian society, Aristophanes does also include comedic value in some of his attacks.

Aristophanes uses hyperbole in the play as a way to emphasize the seriousness of the political issues. An example of this is how he portrays the Pathlagonian to the audience as the lowest of the low, this can be seen in the way that he starts off at the top of the heirachy within Thepeople’s slaves, however when the sausage seller is introduced the two immediately begin to fight to prove to the Knights and to Thepeople who is the most impudent. By the exodus of the play the Sausage Seller has out done the Pathlagonian. This is an example of Aristophanes using hyperbole because he exaggerates the terribleness of the Pathlagonian by comparing him to a Sausage Seller who is at the bottom of Athenian society, not only this but when the Pathlagonian is completely outdone out done by the Sausage Seller he is shown as the new lowest person n Athenian society and is even demoted to the role of a sausage seller in the agora. Athenian society is attacked in this extract of the play through depicting a top political leader such as the Pathlagonian(Cleon) as the scum of Athenian society.

Aristophanes is also saying that a common sausage sausage seller would be a more valuable asset to Athenian politics than Cleon would be because when Demosthenes and Nicias are reading through the Pathlagonian’s oracles and it mentions the hemp seller, sheep seller, the leather seller and then a sausage seller. This is an attack on Athenian politics and their politicians...
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