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Overcoming Adversity with Individuality

During times of war, it is easy for the domestic and political spheres of a society to become fractured, and in turn, give rise to corruption. In Archarnians, Aristophanes fabricates a play that reflects upon the conditions during the Peloponnesian war in Greece and its aftermath. Throughout the play, Aristophanes does not criticize what he considers to be the dangerous extreme of democratic individualism, but rather supports the noticeable actions of democratic individualism through his characterization of Dicaeopolis, a common Greek farmer. Aristophanes shows that Dicaeopolis’ strong democratic individualism through times of war enables him to separate his good from the good of the state. Dicaeopolis attempts to assert his individuality through his decision to go against the state and make a personal treaty with the Spartans, resulting in his establishment of a mart in which all good things come to him in their own accord, and his ability to achieve all of his desires with noticeable ease. Dicaeopolis, through his strong self-assertiveness and individualism, succeeds in becoming the master of his own political and familial worlds.

The play begins with Dicaeopolis addressing the audience in a monologue, the beginning of the play shows the first example of his first opposing political stance against the assembly of Athens. Dicaeopolis introduces to the audience that most of his problems are associated with life in the city, and ...

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