->''Brekekekéx-koáx-koáx''
-->The familiar chant from ''Theatre/TheFrogs''

Aristophanes was an Athenian comic playwright (5th-4th century BC). His works are often characterized as {{satire}}, which is quite remarkable--the Greeks never really went in for satire that much, to the point where they didn't even have a word for it (the genre was considered to be an innovation of the Romans, who were rather fonder of the style).

His notable plays include ''Theatre/TheClouds'' (''Νεφέλαι, Nephelai''), which famously lampooned Creator/{{Socrates}} (libeling him, and likely contributing to his sentence of death); ''The Wasps'' (''Σφῆκες, Sphékes''), a satire of [[OlderThanTheyThink contemporary litigious society]]; ''Theatre/TheBirds'' (''Ὄρνιθες, Ornithes''), which features the original {{Cloudcuckooland}}; ''Theatre/{{Lysistrata}}'' (''Λυσιστράτη, Lysistraté''), in which the women of Greece bring about the end of a war by going on a [[LysistrataGambit sex strike]]; and ''The Frogs'' (''Βάτραχοι, Batrachoi''), in which {{Euripides}} and {{Aeschylus}} contend in the afterlife for the title of Best Tragic Poet. (Many of his plays, in what was then a common convention, were named after the role adopted by the GreekChorus; ''Lysistrata'', named after the lead character, is the only exception out of those listed here.)

''The Frogs'' was loosely adapted into a musical by StephenSondheim ''et al''., with Creator/WilliamShakespeare and Creator/GeorgeBernardShaw as the contentious dramatists, and a much-expanded role for the frogs.
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!!TropeNamer
* {{Cloudcuckooland}}
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}
* LysistrataGambit

!!Works by Aristophanes with their own trope pages include:

* ''Theatre/TheAcharnians''
* ''Theatre/TheBirds''
* ''Theatre/TheClouds''
* ''Theatre/{{Lysistrata}}''
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!!Other works by Aristophanes provide examples of:

* AnachronismStew: Some translations update terminology, and most update as many jokes as possible that the shows may remain side-splitters. For example, at one point in ''The Frogs'', we are given an excerpt from {{Aeschylus}}' now-lost play ''Myrmidons'', where the word "striking" figures repeatedly. One translation has Dionysus riffing "You struck out." Another has Dionysus complain that all the "striking" has made his groin sore.
* AsYouKnow: Opening of ''The Wasps''
* BlackComedyRape
* BreakingTheFourthWall: ''Clouds'', ''Frogs'', ''The Wasps'' -- if not the UrExample, he may yet be the oldest surviving.
* CorruptPolitician: Several of his contemporaries are depicted in this way by Aristophanes. Most notably the populist leader Cleon, whose period in power featured the rise of a new breed of public informants. They were supposed to keep a watchful eye on the city and find out any anti-democratic conspiracies, leading the perpetrators to trial. Aristophanes repeatedly depicts both the informants and their master as corrupt people making absurd accusations against innocent targets.
* DirtyCoward: Many of Aristophanes' surviving works contain jokes about the supposed cowardice of Cleonymus. He was apparently a politician and military officer who lost his courage at the Battle of Delium (424 BC). He threw his shield away and fled from the battlefield, a dishonorable act which cost him the loss of several citizen rights. Aristophanes continued including jokes ridiculing the "shield-thrower" for at least a decade after the fact.
* DirtyOldWoman
* GagPenis
* GenderBender: Mnesilochus in ''The Poet And The Women''.
* GreekChorus: Necessarily, for an Ancient Greek playwright.
* HilarityEnsues: Duh
* HaveYouSeenMyGod
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall
* MissingEpisode: Not all his plays survived the fall of the Roman Empire.
** Though also something of an inversion- virtually all other examples of Athenian Old Comedy are lost to us, the surviving Aristophanic plays being the only ones remaining.
** Also, ''The Frogs'' gives us excerpts of some missing Aeschylus and Euripides plays.
* NoFourthWall
* NostalgiaAintLikeItUsedToBe: Aristophanes wasn't fond of modernity and clearly thought that Greece used to be a much sweeter place a few decades before his plays. Since most of his works were written during the Peloponnesian War, he wasn't completely wrong.
* RuleOfFunny
* SwappedRoles: Dionysos and his mortal servant disguise themselves as each other in ''The Frogs''.
* TakeThat: Creator/{{Euripides}} is one of the most frequent targets. Socrates is a close second - Theatre/TheClouds is all about what a sleazy fellow Socrates is, and there are various references to him in other plays, none at all flattering. It's often argued that Aristophanes' daemon-ization of Socrates was one reason the Athenians eventually condemned the philosopher to death.
* UnreliableNarrator: Aristophanes himself when mentioning contemporary events. Along with the historian Thucydides, the playwright is one of our main sources of information on several key figures of the UsefulNotes/ThePeloponnesianWar. But the views of both men were oligarchic. They were, for example, both harsh critics of various policies which placed the Athenian nobility at a disadvantage. These same policies were very popular with the Athenian citizens.
* WarIsHell
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