The Frogs by Aristophanes comes to the stage of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens for one night only in September. Aristophanes attempts a phantasmagorical descent to the underworld. Much like Odysseus, he seeks a path to his utopian Ithaca. One can only fulfil one’s life by discovering the true meaning of death. The polis must come to terms with its own lack of order to gain a more substantial presence.
The Frogs stand in for humanity, humans are like amphibians, foreign both in land and sea, yet also feeling everywhere at home, ready to sing and dance. The carnival symbolises humanity’s struggle to go beyond themselves, to conquer a distinct identity. This identity is not expressed in the dramas by the “realist” Euripides; it is expressed in the dramas written by the epic storyteller Aeschylus, this serious, imposing poet.
Aeschylus constantly dismisses his opponent with the expression “lekythion apolesen,” or, “he lost his little oil flash,” an expression which is commonly held to be a joke about Euripides’ sexual impotence.
The world of the living slowly dies away, due to their lack of imagination to create new myths, no matter how outrageous these myths may be. Conversely, the underworld bursts with life, because its inhabitants retain the power of imagination while still having a flair for games.
Why Athens Tip: The performance will be performed in Greek with English subtitles
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