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Aristophanes: Frogs

2. Myth and Ritual

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about the role of myth and ritual in the Frogs, focusing in particular on: (i) the ways in which the reflects the festal atmosphere of the City Dionysia, the festival at which it was performed; (ii) the egalitarian nature of the Eleusinian Mysteries and its thematic significance in a play that is interested in disrupting traditional hierarchies (as discussed in the previous lecture); (iii) the presence of Eleusinian initiates as the main chorus of the play; (iv) the extent to which Dionysus’ journey to the underworld echoes the journey taken by an Eleusinian initiate; and (v) the figure of Dionysus, his ritual connection to frogs, as well as to the City Dionysia itself.


In this course, Dr Naomi Scott (University of Nottingham) explores Aristophanes’ Frogs. In the first module, we think about the social, political and historical context of Aristophanes’ Frogs. In the second module, we think about the role of myth and ritual in the play, before turning in the third module to consider the ways in which Frogs plays with its own status as a work of theatre. In the fourth module, we think about the Frogs as a play that was performed rather than a text to be read, before turning in the fifth and final module to the tragic contest between Aeschylus and Euripides that dominates the second half of the play.


Dr Naomi Scott is Teaching Associate in Classics at the University of Nottingham. Her research focuses on on Old Comedy, and she works both on the plays of Aristophanes and also on the fragments of other comedians such as Cratinus, Pherecrates, and Archippus.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Scott, N. (2020, October 27). Aristophanes: Frogs - Myth and Ritual [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Scott, N. "Aristophanes: Frogs – Myth and Ritual." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 27 Oct 2020,