Aristophanes helped shape comedy ... despite their often fantasical premises, were fairly consistently concerned with contemporary politics and social institutions. ... mildly aristocratic ... patriotic ... suspicious of social innovation ... sympathetic to the struggles of the common people ... unrestrained in insult ... exuberantly bawdy.
Aristophanes (ca. 456 BC - ca. 386 BC) was a Greek Old Comic dramatist. He is also known as the Father of Comedy and the Prince of Ancient Comedy. "Lysistrata" was written during the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta and argues not so much for pacifism as for the idea that the states ought not be fighting one another at this point but combining to rule Greece.
Playwright Einhorn, known for his comic absurdist plays, translates the ancient Greek humor for a modern audience. Complete with essays, selected sheet music, and a second version of the play for inventive directors, this newest adaptation focuses on war, sex, and, most of all, laughter. (Plays/Drama)
In Aristophanes' Lysistrata, the women of Athens, fed up with the war against Sparta, go on a sex strike and barricade themselves into the acropolis to persuade their husbands to vote against the war. It is the most often performed of all Aristophanes' comedies. It is also, perhaps, the most misunderstood. This collection of essays by eight leading academics - written for sixth-form students and the general public alike - sets the play firmly in its historical and social context, while exploring Aristophanes' purpose in writing it and considering the responses of modern audiences and directors. The collection has been assembled and edited by David Stuttard, whose energetic new performing version of the play is included in this volume. Contributors include: Alan Beale; Edith Hall; Lorna Hardwick; James Morwood; Martin Revermann; James Robson; Alan H. Sommerstein; Michael Walton.
Lysistrata and Other Plays centers a disgruntled woman whose attempt to end a war takes the battle from an open field to the soldier’s bedroom. Wives from both camps deny their husbands basic affection in an effort to quell the violence. Set during the Peloponnesian War, the women of Greece, led by Lysistrata, create a plan to stifle the conflict between Athens and Sparta. Together, they agree to stage a sex strike, refusing to sleep with their husbands until a resolution is met. The strategy has an undeniable effect on politicians, generals and soldiers eager for a return to normalcy. It dramatically changes the focus of the warring parties, signifying the potential for peace. Lysistrata and Other Plays confronts gender norms and empowers those who are often marginalized. It’s a common theme in Aristophanes’ work that is also found in The Assemblywomen and Thesmophoriazusae. This political satire illustrates how fundamental needs always take precedence over superficial wants. With an eye-catching new cover, and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Lysistrata and Other Plays is both modern and readable.
Most readers nowadays encounter the plays of Aristophanes in the classroom, not the theater. Yet the "father of comedy" wrote his plays for the stage, not as literary texts. Many English translations of the plays were written decades ago, and in their outdated language they fail to capture the dramatic liveliness of the original comedies. Now Michael Ewans offers new and lively translations of three of Aristophanes' finest plays: Lysistrata, The Women's Festival, and Frogs. While remaining faithful to the original Greek, these translations are accessible to a modern audience—and actable on stage. Here readers will discover—in all its uncensored glory—the often raw sexual and scatological language Aristophanes used in his fantastically inventive works. This edition also contains all that a reader needs to understand the plays within a broader context. In his comprehensive introduction, Ewans discusses political and social aspects of Aristophanic comedy, the conventions of Greek theater, and the challenges of translating ancient Greek into modern English. In his theatrical commentaries—a unique feature of this edition—Ewans draws on his own experience of directing the plays in a replica of the original theater. In scene-by-scene analysis, he provides insight into the major issues each play raises in performance. The volume concludes with two glossaries—one of proper names and the other of Greek terms—as well as a bibliography that includes the most recent scholarship on Aristophanic comedy.
Lysistrata is one of the few surviving plays written by Aristophanes. Originally performed in classical Athens in 411 BC, it is a comic account of one woman's extraordinary mission to end The Peloponnesian War. Lysistrata persuades the women of Greece to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands and lovers as a means of forcing the men to negotiate peace — a strategy, however, that inflames the battle between the sexes. The play is notable for being an early exposé of sexual relations in a male-dominated society. The dramatic structure represents a shift away from the conventions of Old Comedy, a trend typical of the author's career. It was produced in the same year as Thesmophoriazusae, another play with a focus on gender-based issues, just two years after Athens' catastrophic defeat in the Sicilian Expedition. This is a new translation by Ranjit Bolt.