The Telegraph has a top ten list of “vicious literary hatchet jobs” and coming in at number one is one which might be familiar to y’all:
1. Aristophanes on Euripides (405 BC)
Just a year after the death of the celebrated tragedian, Aristophanes ignored all warnings never to speak ill of the dead, and savaged Euripides in his comedy The Frogs.
As the play draws to an end, Euripides is pitted against Aeschylus in a war of wits. The prize: a route out of the underworld. Predictably, Aristophanes pours scorn on Euripides and Aeschylus emerges the victor.
ÆSCHYLUS: “Hah! sayest thou so, child of the garden quean! And this to me, thou chattery-babble-collector, Thou pauper-creating rags-and-patches-stitcher?”
ÆSCHYLUS: “My poetry survived me: his died with him.”
- Top 10 vicious literary hatchet jobs (Telegraph)