Aeschylus - Characteristics of a Literary Hero
Aeschylus is the central character in Aristophanes' comedy The Frogs (405 BC), which introduced the author of the Oresteia as a character. The god of the theater, Dionysus, descends to the underworld for the soul of the best tragedian, for there are no more of them left on earth. Dionysus arranges a competition between E. and Euripides for the right of primacy in the tragic art. E. affirms the need for high ideals: "We must always talk about the beautiful," "The very inevitability tells us to find grand speeches for lofty thoughts and deeds." His theatrical system is close to Aristophanes, but this does not prevent the comedian from parodying many of E.'s theatrical techniques. Recognized as the best, E. is returned by the gods to earth, and he transfers his throne in the kingdom of the dead to Sophocles, who did not participate in the competition.