To what extent do you think Aristophanes uses the relationship between Bdelycleon and Philocleon to make serious political and social points in “wasps”?

Topics: Social class, Aristophanes, Politics Pages: 2 (628 words) Published: January 5, 2014
To what extent do you think Aristophanes uses the relationship between Bdelycleon and Philocleon to make serious political and social points in “wasps”? Aristophanes uses Bdelycleons and Philocleons relationship to show the difference in political influence according to class. Bdelycleon is younger as well as being an upper class citizen and against Cleon. Bdelycleon was the voice of Aristophanes. Philocleon is an old warrior, and is considered old fashioned and lower class but supports Cleon. Philocleon is the voice of the people. In the wasps, Aristophanes presents Cleon as the “bad guy” and even accuses him of being a demagogue. He is heavily criticized throughout the play, albeit through satire. By swaying the audience towards this opinion of Cleon, they see Bdelycleon as being “in the right” that is; having the correct political opinions. Through doing this Aristophanes merges the peoples voice with Bdelycleons. He also does not patronize the audience, he genuinely wants to help them, and Bdelycleon is rather caring towards them when pointing out their mistakes for supporting Cleon. Through Bdelycleon being the voice of knowledge and of reason we are led to believe that upper class citizens will make better, more informed political decisions. Philocleon is relatable to the majority of the Athenian audience as he has the same opinions as them (expressed in his speech in pages 28-31). He feels he has been misguided by Cleon, after having his eyes opened he sees that the man is corrupt and unfit to rule. However, he has to have this pointed out to him by someone younger and of higher status. Philocleon is a huge supporter of Cleon and his policies at the start of the play, as were many Athenians, and so for his son to support him in his transition from supporter to loather makes the audience feel they are being cared for rather than feeling stupid. Aristophanes uses these characters very cleverly to alter the opinions of the audience and this is where his...
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