Aeschylus, Euripides and the conquest of a Re(g)al Throne. Reflections on the Staging of Aristophanes’ Frogs


In Aristophanes’ Frogs the prize awarded to the winner of the agon between Aeschylus and Euripides is not merely a metaphorical laurel (as recognition for being the best poet in the Underworld), but a real and regal throne. The aim of this paper is to explain how the references to the θρόνος τραγῳδικός in the comic text have influenced the different hypotheses suggested by the scholars about the staging of the agon. In particular, it shows how the occupation — total or partial — of a real throne on the stage determines an asymmetry between the characters of Aeschylus and Euripides, a difference that determines the authority and credibility of each of the dead poets.