عنوان مقاله [English]
The oldest comic playwright from ancient world, whose works have survived and reached us, is Aristophanes the Greek. Names of many comic playwrights are found during the 5th century B.C. in Ancient Greece; however, works of none of whom is survived virtually complete. Thus, the only criterion for judging comedies of Golden Age of ancient Greece is applied to the works of Aristophanes. He can be considered as the founder of comedy in the whole world. There is little information about him, and the truth of his life should be searched for in his plays. He lived at the time of catastrophic Athenian-Spartan and Athenian-Sicilian wars; traces of such fierce battles can be found in many of his works. Four of his eleven plays such as The Acharnians, Peace, The Birds, and Lysistrata have explicit plots against these wars. Ridiculing Athenian militant rulers, Aristophanes establishes his dream of a war-free Utopia. Aristophanes’ comedies have been translated into different languages of the world and performed many times in the past century and in the 21th century though twenty five hundred years have passed since their creation. One reason for the dramatic approach to his comedies may be his irreconcilable conflict with the war. Aristophanes lived around 448 to 380 B.C. His youth coincided with the powerful era of “Pericles”, Athens’ powerful ruler. Athenian-Spartan War took place in early years of Aristophanes’ youth, i.e. in 431 B.C, and out of Pericles’ ambitions. This led the young Greek comedy writer to leave his farms and lands, like many other people, and immigrate and take up residence in Athens like most people of rural Attica Peninsula. In his comedies, one can always see a suffering image of themselves throughout the history. Characters in his works often provoke our sympathy and depict the common pains of humanity before our eyes. He is always looking for the ideal way of life. Aristophanes has a dream of a utopian society in which corruption and waste have not penetrated, and has no trace of poverty and injustice and war. All his predictions came to realization during his lifetime. He witnessed how the agitators of war and armament merchants put Athens in fire and imposed poverty, forced migration and massacre on the society. Yet, his genius lay in that, in a land of fire and blood, he would find something to make people laugh while Athens was filled with dead bodies and dying men; and by the time the heart of the city stopped beating, the suffering writer still found an excuse to create a comedy. The author of the present paper specifically addresses the issue of war in the writings of the ancient Greek playwright. Although he was an open-hearted brave warrior, Aristophanes hated the wars destroying Athens, and severely criticized the agitators of war with the fearless and reckless language of his plays. He, specifically, expressed his opposition to the long-term Peloponnesian Wars in his works which will be discussed subsequently. This paper reviews Aristophanes’ social status in Athens’ war-torn society along with searching the roots of his hatred of war in his works.