Volltext: A history of caricature and grotesque in literature and art

I4 Hgliory of Caricature and Grottfgue 
of the birds, where they form a new Itate, by which the communication 
between the mortals and the immortals is cut off, and is only opened 
again by an arrangement between all the parties. In the "Lyfiftrata," 
believed to have been brought out in 4x1, when the war was {till at its 
height, the women of Athens are reprefented as engaging in a cunning 
and fuccefsful plot, by which they gain potlefiion of the government of the 
fiate, and compel their hutbands to make peace. "The Thelino- 
phoriazufze," appears to have been publilhed in B.C. 410; it is a fatire 
upon Euripides, whofe writings were remarkable for their bitter attacks 
on the character of the female fex, who, in this comedy, confpire againft 
him to fecure his punifhment. The comedy of"The Frogs" was brought 
out in the year 405  and is a fatire on the literature of the day; it is 
aimed efpecially at Euripides, and was perhaps written foon after his death, 
its real fubject being the decline of the tragic drama, which Euripides 
was accufed of having promoted. It is perhaps the mofi witty of the 
plays of Ariftophanes which have been preferved. " The Eccle{iazul'ae," 
publilhed in 392, is a burlefque upon the theories of republican govern- 
ment, Which were then ftarted among the philofophers, fome of which 
differed little from our modern communifm. The ladies again, by a clever 
confpiracy, gain the mafiery in the eftate, and they decree a community 
of goods and women, with fome laws very peculiar to that Hate of things. 
The humour of the piece, which is extremely broad, turns upon the 
difputes and embarralfments refulting from this {late of things. The 
laii; of his comedies extant, " Plutus," appears to be a work of the 
concluding years of the active life of Ariiiophanes; it is the leait liriking 
of them all, and is rather a moral than a political fatire. 
In a comedy brought out in 426, the year before " The Archarnians," 
under the title of " The Babylonians," Ariftophanes appears to have given 
great offence to the democratic party, a circumftance to which he alludes 
more than once in the former play. However, his talents and popularity 
feem to have carried him over the danger, and certainly nothing can have 
exceeded the bitternefs of fatire employed in his fubfequent comedies. 
Thofe who followed him were lefs fortunate. 
One of the lateft writers of the Old Comedy was Anaximandrides, 


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