On Wednesday the 12th February, LVth and UVth Greek students got a chance to see ancient Greek in its full glory. We got this opportunity thanks to a production of The Wasps, an ancient Greek comedy by Aristophanes, at King’s College London. It had extremely funny moments, such as a dog being put on trial and a cheese grater being used as a witness for the trial!
However, for me the most interesting part was how the director of the production cleverly intertwined references to modern day people, such as Miley Cyrus. Another interesting aspect of the production was seeing how ancient Greek is actually spoken. Clearly we do not get an opportunity to hear this much. While I am not amazing at Greek and relied heavily on the subtitles, it was fascinating to see Greek culture, as it was then, brought to life.
It was also interesting to experience this ancient comedy as it is different from most comedy nowadays. Importantly, however, it had meaning, unlike much of media today. It had a simple purpose which was to mock the general, Cleon. Aristophanes achieves this very simply by making Philocleon, whose very name suggests a love for Cleon, a rather naïve character who acts ridiculously. Aristophanes then depicts Bdelycleon, whose name suggests he is opposed to Cleon, as someone who is reasonable and the kind of person you would want in court as he is persuasive and intellectual.
Not only was The Wasps extremely funny and enjoyable, it was also a greatly worked play which would have (if we were the original audience) encapsulated the author’s distaste of Cleon.
Harry Liversedge (East L5th)