The Wasps (Classical Greek: Σφῆκες, romanized: Sphēkes) is the fourth in chronological order of the eleven surviving plays by Aristophanes, the master of an ancient genre of drama called 'Old Comedy'. It was produced at the Lenaia festival in 422 BC, a time when Athens was enjoying a brief respite from the Peloponnesian War following a one-year truce with Sparta.
As in his other early plays, Aristophanes satirizes the demagogue Cleon, but in The Wasps he also ridicules one of the Athenian institutions that provided Cleon with his power base: the law courts. The play has been thought to exemplify the conventions of Old Comedy better than any other play, and it has been considered to be one of the world's greatest comedies.
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