Last Updated on September 5, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 165
In the beginning of Aristophanes’s The Wasps, two slaves guard the rooftop of Bdelycleon and Philocleon (“hater of Cleon” and “lover of Cleon,” respectively). The three are watching the father of Bdelycleon, Philocleon. The conflict is that Philocleon is addicted to his action at the law courts. Bdelycleon tries to ease his pain by staging a mock trial between two dogs. The chorus is comprised of other old jurors who behave like a swarm of wasps. Philocleon acquits a dog accused of stealing cheese. Then Bdelycleon decides that his father needs more social training in order to enjoy a life of entertainment and luxury befitting a man of his age. After some training of this nature, he sends him off to a party, where his father behaves drunkenly. In the closing scene, Philocleon participates in a dancing contest, while the chorus praised his son’s devotion to helping his father, though it is difficult for him to change the ways of an old man.