Birds & Other Play
Paperback $19.99 - Penguin
Plays, Theatre & Dance - Published: 9/Nov/2013 - ISBN: 9780140449518
Oh wings are splendid things, make no mistake: they really help you rise in the world.'These plays, written over forty years, contain Aristophanes' trademark bawdy comedy and dazzling verbal agility. In The Birds, two frustrated Athenians join with the birds to build the utopian city of 'Much Cuckoo in the Clouds'. The Knights is a venomous satire on Cleon, the prominent Athenian demagogue, while The Assembly women considers the war of the sexes, as the women of Athens infiltrate the all-male Assembly in disguise. The lengthy conflict with Sparta is the subject of Peace, inspired by the hope of a settlement in 421 BC, and Wealth reflects the economic catastrophe that hit Athens after the war, as the god of riches is depicted as a ragged, blind old man.The lively translations by David Barrett and Alan H. Sommerstein capture the full humour of the plays. The introduction examines Aristophanes' life and times, and the comedy and poetry of his works. This volume also includes an introductory note for each play.
Aristophanes was born, probably in Athens, c. 449 BC and died between 386 and 380 BC. Little is known about his life, but there is a portrait of him in Plato's Symposium. He was twice threatened with prosecution in the 420s for his outspoken attacks on the prominent politician Cleon, but in 405 he was publicly honored and crowned for promoting Athenian civic unity in The Frogs. Aristophanes had his first comedy produced when he was about twenty-one, and wrote forty plays in all. The eleven surviving plays of Aristophanes are published in the Penguin Classics series as The Birds and Other Plays, Lysistrata and Other Plays, and The Wasps / The Poet and the Women / The Frogs.
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