The Ecclesiazusae Essay - Critical Essays



(Critical Survey of Literature, Revised Edition)

The ECCLESIAZUSAE is not one of Aristophanes’ best plays. Written late in his career, it lacks the wit and ingenuity of LYSISTRATA, the play which it most resembles. The scatological humor seems gratuitous, but the satire on the communistic Utopia enforced by the women of Athens is effective and the action moves swiftly, especially since the role of the chorus has been reduced to practically nothing. Although the play appeared some twenty years before Plato’s REPUBLIC, some critics believe that the playwright is here deriding the philosopher’s ideas as they circulated in discussion.