Study Guide

The Acharnians

by Aristophanes

The Acharnians Characters

Characters Discussed (Great Characters in Literature)

Dicaeopolis

Dicaeopolis (dih-kee-AH-poh-lihs), an Athenian farmer whose name means “honest citizen,” a shrewd, earthy man who has had enough of deceptions wrought in the name of patriotism and who wants peace with the Spartans at practically any price. Although he is a loyal Athenian, he recognizes that the Spartans cannot be blamed for all the misfortunes of his homeland. When the assembly refuses to discuss measures for ending the war, he concludes a separate peace and opens a market where all enemies of Athens may trade. Before a chorus of Acharnian charcoal burners, who wish to stone him as a traitor, he eloquently defends the cause of peace. His wisdom is shown even more plainly near the end of the play when he, in the company of two courtesans, makes ready for the Feast of the Cups, while the pompous militarist Lamachus dons his armor to march away to defend the border.

Lamachus

Lamachus (LA-muh-kuhs), a general who is determined to fight the Spartans to the end. A mighty boaster, he at last receives his wounds, not at the hands of the enemy but while leaping a ditch.

Euripides

Euripides (yew-RIH-pih-deez), the tragic poet, who lends Dicaeopolis rags worn by Telephus, one of the most unfortunate of the playwright’s heroes, so that Dicaeopolis will appeal to the pity of the Acharnians...

(The entire section is 600 words.)