Elite domination and the clever citizen: Aristophanes' "archarnians" and "Knights"

Political Theory 32 (5):656-677 (2004)
Aristophanes has often been read as a conservative who was nostalgic for the days before the advent of radical democracy in Athens. This article offers a more complex reading, centering on the portrayal of ordinary citizens in "Archarnians" and "Knights". Focusing on their "cleverness," Aristophanes recognizes both the potential of ordinary citizens and their limitations as heroes in the struggle against elite domination of democratic politics. This complex portrayal of ordinary citizens, the author suggests, complements recent calls for a more agonistic democratic politics
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