Essentially a plea for peace and an end to The Peloponnesian War, which by the time of the play's debut had been raging for five years, the story revolves around Dikaiopolis, an old, war-weary farmer who longs to return home and is increasingly frustrated with the failure of the authorities to pursue peace. After he attends yet another ineffectual Assembly meeting which seems to be determined to discuss anything but peace, Dikaiopolis encounters an Immortal named Amphitheus, who offers to sell a private peace to the farmer. Dikaiopolis agrees and returns home to enjoy the fruits of his peace with the Spartans, but in the process, he infuriates many of his fellow Athenians. And so he attempts to convince them of the virtue of peace, wagering his own head on his success.
This work contains examples of:
- Author Tract: Dikaiopolis' Opening Monologue and much of his dialogue while his head is on the block qualify. Though of course, Tropes Are Not Bad.
- Opening Monologue: Dikaiopolis has one, during which he expresses his frustration with the war and his fellow citizens' apparent ambivalence towards coming up with a peaceful solution.
- Young Love Versus Old Hate: Inverted Trope. Dikaiopolis and many of the other older farmers are weary of war, while Lamachus, the only representative of the opposing argument, is depicted as a Hot-Blooded young upstart. Dikaiopolis even calls him on it.