Chirping Like the Swallows: Aristophanes' Portrayals of the Barbarian "Other"
AuthorBravo, Christopher Delante
Committee ChairBauschatz, John
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractIn this thesis, I examine three specific characters from the extant plays of Aristophanes: the Scythian archer from Thesmophoriazusae, the Thracian god from Birds, and the Persian King's Eye from Acharnians. Through a close analysis of these three characters, I show that Aristophanes portrayed each one in a different manner and with varying degrees of hostility. Aristophanes' portrayals of these foreigners were likely informed by his fellow Athenians' attitudes toward non-Athenians. As I demonstrate, the interactions of foreigners with Greek characters in Aristophanes' plays reveal subtle gradations of Greek xenophobia. The playwright composed his comedies in a period of great cultural change and increasingly diverse perceptions of non-Greeks, and as a result, these xenophobic nuances emerged. Views of barbarians were evolving in the last quarter of the fifth century BCE, and Greek xenophobia was not a monolithic social phenomenon.