Last Updated September 5, 2023.
The Wasps is one of the eleven plays written by Aristophanes. The play ridicules the law courts, which constitute the Athenian institutions, which acted as part of the power base for the Cleon. The play has got various characters including Philocleon, who is the main character in the story. Philocleon is an elderly man and one of the many Jurors within the courts in Athens. He is regarded as a “monster” who is not suffering from a common addiction such as alcoholism or gambling, but from a rare form of addiction, the law courts. Philocleon has a son by the name Bdelycleon, who tries everything within his reach to ensure that the father does not go back to the Law Courts. The chorus, who are a group of old men and Philocleon’s fellow jurors are not happy with Bdeycleon’s decision. Therefore, they try to rescue him from the two slaves Sosias and Xanthias who are tasked with the duty of ensuring that Philocleon does not leave the house. However, the efforts of his fellow jurors prove futile and Philocleon is not allowed to leave the house. Finally, an agreement is reached between father and son, and Philocleon agrees to carry out his juror’s duty without leaving the house. His first is that of a dog by the name Labes, who is accused of eating a Sicilian cheese that belonged to another dog. The defense witnesses for the case include a pot, a pestle, a cheese-grater, and a pestle. His son, Bdeycleon, convinces him to acquit the dog, an outcome that shocks the old juror.