Wasps : AGON – pg 57->61 Philocleon’s case. Juror has power of ‘absolute sovereignty’ even the rich milking the public purse bow down to him in fear of reprisals Jury service is entertaining they hear actors speeches, flutists entertainments, funny stories.
Juror has power of ‘absolute sovereignty’
even the rich milking the public purse bow down to him in fear of reprisals
Jury service is entertaining
they hear actors speeches, flutists entertainments, funny stories.
Juries are groveled to in language of prayer
Juries are bribed shamelessly
money OR given accused daughters
Jurors are not held accountable
ignore the contents of wills and give to the “show in court”
Jurors get to see naked boys
18yr olds had to prove they were old enough to be able to bear arms and become citizens.
Jurors are under Cleon’s protection.
the ‘great shield dropper’ Cleonymus tells them they will not be deserted, and the ’great roarer’ Cleon never gives them problems.
Jurors recent pay rise to 3 obols make them popular at home
The Chorus applaud the case that Philocleon has made (naturally)
He enumerates the city’s income (taxes on metics, shares, duties, markets, rents, tributes from empire, confiscations, silver mines) = 12 million drachmae per year.
Jury pay doesn’t even come to 10% of this total – most goes into the pockets of Cleon and his cronies.
Jurors shouldn’t have to work for their pay – the city’s income was earned by them in the first place (they rowed and toiled the money into existence)
Therefore they are slaves working twice for their money.
Philocleon’s arm goes limp, and the jury is won over to Bdelycleon.
Philocleon lets out a tragic wail (and Euripidean words) and attempts suicide but the sword gets caught in his beard and clothes
He attempts to find his soul in his clothes but only finds his stuffed phallus in the costume.
To cure Philocleon of his Monomania, Bdelycleon arranges a mock trial in household.
- Aristophanes private solution for a public ill
- Athens invasion by primitive urges greed, stupidity (the animal fantasy)
The trial cares brought by “the Dog of Cydathenaeum against Labes of Aexone, on the ground that he injured one Sicilian cheese by eating it all himself”
-the Dog (Kuon) = Cleon, Cydathenaeum was his Deme, Labes = Laches a commander in a naval battle in Sicily
-Cleon had accuse of embezzlement in Sicily. The crime is he didn’t share the cheese with the dog
The Dog “knows how to bark & lick the plates” takes his cut & blackens other mens characters
Labes, the defender, the cannot speak cos there are already 3 speakers on stage.
Bdelycleon speaks on his behalf parodying Athens’ court conventions of evidence.
-Character References: He’s a noble watch dog & fighter (contrasts to Cleon was not a soldier just a politician)
- Playing the sympathy card : Brings out Labes’ puppies for sympathy.
- irrelevant evidence “after all, he was never taught to play the harp” – also blame the upbringing
Philocleon want to convict despite the evidence, though moved by the puppies.
Bdelycleon see’s him blinded by tears, switches the urns, and Philocleon puts his pebble in the wrong urn.
-Philocleon acquits for the 1st time in his life, he faints! The Dog (Aristophanes old foe) is defeated.
-In the PARABASIS Aristophanes is the hero Heracles saviour of mankind by defeating Cerberus the Hell hound