“The Frogs” essay
How has political satire really changed over the years?
The onion, The Colbert Report, The daily show, and Saturday Night Live: what do all of these have in common? They spread the news and awareness but portray it in a comedic way. This is known as political satire, which gives light and laughter to serious topics around the world. Aristotle defines comedy as a representation of laughable people and involves some kind of blunder or ugliness that does not cause pain or disaster. The oldest example that has still survived today is Aristophanes work. He was a well-known play writer in Greece who addressed political topics by using comedy in his plays. “The Frogs”, specifically, gives a lighter outlook on religions and gods at the time. Stephen Colbert, a more recent figure, shows political satire on late night television on his broadcast “The Colbert Report”. Both of these artists accomplish political satire in their own way. Although Aristophanes and Stephen Colbert both talk and discuss political topics using comedy, it is evident that they differ because of the difference in time frame and forms of comedy. In order to discuss the differences, we must first look into what was happening at the time of Aristophanes. Ancient Greeks were polytheists, or believing in more than one god. Each god had his or her control over something on earth such as Zeus or Poseidon. Ancient Greeks, at the time, were very knowledgeable of the stories that involved these powerful gods. Aristophanes was the icon for what is known today as old comedy. He wrote plays about certain attributes that people feared of back then. Examples include Hades, war, or even death. In Aristophanes’ play “The Frogs” he accomplishes comedy by adding motifs, or dialogue that has a symbolic significance towards the development in his play. This is something that ancient Greeks loved in comedic plays. He combines a journey motif: Dionysus and his faithful...
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