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The Frogs | Act Summaries

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Timeline of Events

  • Present day c. 405 BCE

    Dionysus and Xanthias set out on their journey.

    Prologos
  • Same day

    Dionysus and Xanthias meet with Hercules.

    Prologos
  • A little later

    Dionysus sets off for Hades by boat.

    Prologos
  • Sometime after

    The Chorus (as Frogs) sings with Dionysus while he's in Charon's boat.

    Parodos
  • A little later

    Dionysus and Xanthias reach Pluto's abode at the gates of Hades.

    Parodos
  • Moments later

    Dionysus and Xanthias exchange clothes three times.

    Episode 1
  • Soon after

    Aeacus whips Dionysus and Xanthias but cannot tell which one is a god, so he must ask Pluto.

    Parabasis
  • Moments later

    The Chorus sings about Athens's political plight.

    Parabasis
  • At the same time

    Dionysus and Xanthias are admitted to Pluto's abode.

    Episode 2
  • Soon after

    Xanthias and a servant (Servant 2) meet and discuss the poetry contest about to take place.

    Episode 2
  • Moments later

    Dionysus judges the debate between Euripides and Aeschylus.

    Agon
  • Moments later

    Aeschylus wins the debate.

    Agon
  • Soon after

    Aeschylus, Dionysus, and Xanthias return to the land of the living.

    Exodos

Act Summaries Chart

Act Summary
Prologos As in all Greek plays, The Frogs begins with a prologos, or prologue, which reveals the setting and the themes of the pl... Read More
Parodos Dionysus and Xanthias continue on their journey, and discover Charon, ferryman of Hades, rowing his boat across the lake... Read More
Episode 1 The door to Pluto's abode in the Underworld is opened by Aeacus, who, seeing Dionysus in his Hercules costume, accuses h... Read More
Parabasis Aeacus, seeing Xanthias dressed as "Hercules," ties him up and threatens him with execution. Xanthias claims he has stol... Read More
Episode 2 Xanthias and a servant (Servant 2) discover they have much in common, and enjoy discussing the pleasures of undermining ... Read More
Agon Aeschylus, Euripides, Pluto, and Dionysus enter. Aeschylus and Euripides taunt and insult one another until Dionysus off... Read More
Exodos In the Exodos (finale) Pluto bids Aeschylus farewell, saying, [Go, / save our city with your noble thoughts, / and educa... Read More
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