Third comedy written by Aristophane after Détaliens and the Babylonians , Acharniens are a plea in favor of peace. Indeed, the part takes seat in the seventh year of the Peloponnesian War, which opposes Athens and its allies of the Ligue of Délos to Sparte and its Ligue of the Peloponnese. Athens is with research new supports.
Aristophane defends peace by showing initially that the war is absurd: according to him, it would have been started by Périclès to protect the interests from her concubine Aspasie. Then, it describes its effects: ruinous for the people, source of profit for some war profiteers. Lastly, he affirms that all good people wishes a truce, and that only the politicians and the soldiers are opposite there. The demagog Cléon, one of the Turk heads of Aristophane, is once again vigorously attacked.
Aristophane puts in scene a honest citizen, Dicéopolis (“quoted just”, “Justinet” in the translation of V. - H. Debidour) which, vis-a-vis this acknowledgment of failure, decides to conclude a private truce. Informed of its treason, the peasants of Acharnes attack the residence of the hero, who celebrates the pastoral Dionysies. Bait is a Dème of the Attique, occupied at the beginning of the war by the troops Spartans carried out by the king Archidamos. Acharniens are thus of burning partisans of the war “for the love of fields” (v. 228).
Bait is a rich ground, but Aristophane caricatures its inhabitants while making some of the coalmen. This allows him pasticher a scene of the Télèphe of Euripide. In this tragedy, Télèphe, mythical king of Mysie and combatant of the Trojan camp in the Trojan War, is struck by the lance of Achille, which only can cure the wounds that it causes. It is thus introduced, disguised while begging, in the Greek camp. Uncovered, it owes its safety only by taking as an hostage the young person Oreste. In Acharniens , it is a coal bag which Dicéopolis takes as an hostage.
Dicéopolis is also opposed to Sycophante S (professional denouncers), which intend to denounce its private market. There indeed, it breaks the embargo issued by Athens on the city of Mégare at the beginning of the war.
Prolog: the Parliament of Athens deliberates. The demagogs present to the people of false foreign ambassadors, thus making him gleam of the helps. Dicéopolis does not leave berner, but does not manage to be made hear. He thus concludes a truce deprived with the Spartans.
- Parodos and tournament: whereas it celebrates Dionysies pastoral, Dicéopolis is attacked by Acharniens. He escapes to them only by taking as an hostage a bag from coal. He then pleads his cause at Acharniens, launches out in a verbal sparring match against the Lamachos general (“Labataille”, transl. Debidour) and convinces crowd.
- Parabase : Aristophane reminds the spectators that its parts, by dismounting the sales leaflet of the demagogs and in “teaching what is right”, always appeared beneficial for the people. The chorus, for its part, claims more regards for the old men of the city.
- Episodes and triumph: Dicéopolis opens a private market, open to all the goods. Mégarien tries to sell his/her little girls, applicant who they are sows, while a Philistine proposes eels of the lake Copaïs. The chorus acclaims Dicéopolis whereas Lamachos returns war wounded.
the parody of the '' Télèphe '' between '' Acharniens '' and '' Thesmophories '', article of Rossella Saetta-Cottone in the review Methodos
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