Places: Peace

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

First produced: Eirēnē, 421 b.c.e. (English translation, 1837)

Type of work: Drama

Type of plot: Satire

Time of work: Fifth century b.c.e.

Places DiscussedTrygaegus’s farm

Trygaegus’s Peacefarm. The play begins in a field in front of Trygaegus’s farmhouse outside of Athens where two servants are feeding a huge beetle upon whose back Trygaegus will fly to heaven to plead with the goddess Peace for an end to the Peloponnesian War. In the last part of the play, the group returns to Trygaegus’s farm for a celebration of a peaceful and fruitful harvest and a marriage to ensure the propagation of the Athenian population.


Heaven. When Trygaegus reaches heaven, he meets Hermes, messenger of the gods, and discovers that Zeus has “washed his hands” of the Greeks and left control of heaven to the god of War, who has buried the goddess Peace.

Tomb of Peace

Tomb of Peace. Trygaegus goes to the Tomb of Peace and after some difficulty with various helpers from other Greek city-states and other occupations, he calls upon his fellow farmers to aid him in hoisting Peace out of her tomb. They do so and return to Trygaegus’s farm with Peace and her two handmaidens, Harvest Fruits and Celebration. At the farm a marriage is celebrated to ensure the ongoing fertility of Peace.

BibliographyAristophanes. Acharnians. Edited and translated by Alan H. Sommerstein. 2d ed. Warminster, Wiltshire, England: Aris & Phillips, 1984. Provides scholarly introduction, bibliography, Greek text, facing English translation, and commentary keyed to the translation. Sommerstein’s translation supersedes most earlier versions.Dover, K. J. Aristophanic Comedy. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972. Useful and authoritative study of the plays of Aristophanes. Chapter 10 gives a synopsis of the play, discusses problems in production, and comments on the play’s themes of peace and Panhellenism. An essential starting point for study of the play.Harriott, Rosemary M. Aristophanes: Poet and Dramatist. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986. A recent study of Aristophanes. The plays are discussed not in individual chapters but as each illustrates the central themes and techniques of Aristophanes’ work.Spatz, Lois. Aristophanes. Boston: Twayne, 1978. A reliable introduction to the comedy of Aristophanes for the general reader. Chapter 2 summarizes the problems of the play and offers a good discussion of imagery.Whitman, Cedric. Aristophanes and the Comic Hero. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1964. A standard work on the characterization of the Aristophanic protagonist. Chapter 3, “City and Individual,” contains an excellent discussion of themes and offers valuable comments on the special characteristics of the play.
Categories: Places