The Acharnians/The Clouds/Lysistrata 'We women have the salvation of Greece in our hands' Writing at a time of political and social crisis in Athens, the ancient Greek comic playwright Aristophanes was an eloquent, yet bawdy, challenger to the demagogue and the sophist. In Lysistrata and The Acharnians, two pleas for an end to the long war between Athens and Sparta, a band of women on a sex strike and a lone peasant respectively defeat the political establishment. The darker comedy of The Clouds satirizes Athenian philosophers, Socrates in particular, and reflects the uncertainties of a generation in which all traditional religious and ethical beliefs were being challenged. Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Alan H. Sommerstein
The master of ancient Greek comic drama, Aristophanes combined slapstick, humour and cheerful vulgarity with acute political observations. In The Frogs, written during the Peloponnesian War, Dionysus descends to the Underworld to bring back a poet who can help Athens in its darkest hour, and stages a great debate to help him decide between the traditional wisdom of Aeschylus and the brilliant modernity of Euripides. The clash of generations and values is also the object of Aristophanes’ satire in The Wasps, in which an old-fashioned father and his loose-living son come to blows and end up in court. And in The Poet and the Women, Euripides, accused of misogyny, persuades a relative to infiltrate an all-women festival to find out whether revenge is being plotted against him.
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Lysistrata is the third and last of Aristophanes' peace plays. It is a dream of peace, of how the women could help to achieve an honourable settlement, conceived when Athens was going through its blackest, most desperate crisis since the Persian War. Though in modern times this is perhaps the most popular of his works, it has never before had an English translation that aims to be reliable in detail and that is fully annotated. The Greek text is based on a fuller body of evidence than any previous edition.It is astonishing to think that this play was first performed 2,400 years ago, because of all Aristophanes great comedies, Lysistrata seems to speak most clearly to our own age. It could perhaps be described as the world's first feminist drama.Text with facing translation, commentary and notes. 224pp(Aris and Phillips 1990).
This English translation of Aristophanes’ most popular comedy will appeal to the modern reader because of its lively and imaginative plot, memorable heroine, good jokes, and appeal for peace and tolerance between nations and between the sexes. This edition includes background material on the historical and cultural context of this work, suggestions for further reading, notes, and a map. The Focus Classical Library provides close translations with notes and essays to provide access to understanding Greek culture and the roots of contemporary thought.
A poet who hated an age of decadence, armed conflict, and departure from tradition, Aristophanes' comic genius influenced the political and social order of his own fifth-century Athens. But as Moses Hadas writes in his introduction to this volume, 'His true claim upon our attention is as the most brilliant and artistic and thoughtful wit our world has known.' Includes The Acharnians, The Birds, The Clouds, Ecclesiazusae, The Frogs, The Knights, Lysistrata, Peace, Plutus, Thesmophoriazusae, and The Wasps. From the Paperback edition.