Lasting Influences of the Classical World

Topics: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Greek mythology, Theseus Pages: 4 (1212 words) Published: September 19, 2013
The lasting influences of the classical world on other cultures across time are shown by analyzing the links between Greek Drama in the time of Aristophanes, on Shakespeare, and on a modern comic text of my choice. Through the use of humour devices, theatre conventions and by developing a show of understanding of the serious messages, the links between the three texts are shown and analyzed.

Gods and goddesses were superior in the time of Aristophanes. This is very surprising in Aristophanes’ Frogs due to the fact that Aristophanes shows Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility, as a confused coward who has lost his identity. It showed a lack of respect for the gods however, since comic plays were like religious ceremonies, anything against the gods were deemed to be a good humoured joke. Many other gods such as Heracles is also brought up in the play which also implies that link with mythology.

The humour device of role changing is used to further emphasize the role of the gods and the qualities they have. Costume is used to illustrate how Heracles looks like and  is used for role changing. Throughout the play, we see Dionysus and Xanthias exchanging costumes for role reversal. We first see Dionysus illustrated to be wearing lion hide and carrying a club, which is supposed to be Heracles.. When Heracles sees Dionysus in this costume and responds, “I vow I can't help laughing, I can't help it. A lion's hide upon a yellow silk, A club and buskin!” (Act I Scene I)Also during the parabasis, Aeacus wants to test if they are actually gods and one quality of the gods Xanthias describes is that they do not feel pain. Slapstick is used here as Aeacus tests if they are gods by striking each of them in turns to see if they respond to the pain.  

In Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, he represents Theseus as the King of Athens and Hippolyta as the queen. By placing these characters into these roles, it immediately implies Mythology.  This also associates with...
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