Abstract

Wasps is Aristophanes' most explicit treatment of Athenian legal practices and forensic rhetoric—its psychological nature as well as its political implications. In Wasps, legal metaphors become literal, as Aristophanes transforms his stage into a court, interweaving the Athenian citizen's identity as a juror into the play's dramatic core. This paper attempts to show that Wasps participates in a democratic discourse on citizen identity by subjecting the citizen—who he is and what he becomes when persuaded—to a close and politically-charged scrutiny, offering in the process a distinctive image of the culture of persuasion in the Athenian democracy.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6504
Print ISSN
0004-0975
Pages
pp. 11-36
Launched on MUSE
2004-05-14
Open Access
No
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