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
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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 volume is a threesome of hilarious comedies which shine a light on the weakness of the powerful and the power in the weak. Views on these two antagonists are challenged and finally reversed. Women are now "on top." The weak and the powerful are thrown into the sand pits of sex and gender and we laugh at the tactics employed by each to get the upper hand. His Lysistrata is the first true feminist in literature, the first activist, the first to disband an army, the first to bring war to an end and the first to organise a sex strike. The first to show us that war and sex are connected. In his Women in Parliament, he has women "penetrating" the epicentre of the men's power, their fortress and the place where they exercise their ego. The activist this time is Praxagora (the woman who is active in the agora, the public, marketplace) They dress themselves in men's clothing (but mustn't kick too high less they reveal their identity) and enter the building well before the men do. Again, the women are the winners and we see the effect of the laws the pass... and, in his Women at the Festival, he depicts their festive behaviour.
Aristophanes is the only surviving representative of Greek Old Comedy, the exuberant, satirical form of festival drama which flourished during the heyday of classical Athenian culture in the fifth century BC. His plays are characterized by extraordinary combinations of fantasy and satire,sophistication and vulgarity, formality and freedom. Birds is an escapist fantasy in which two dissatisfied Athenians, in defiance of men and gods, bring about a city of birds, the eponymous Cloudcuckooland. In Lysistrata the heroine of the play organizes a sex-strike and the wives of Athens occupythe Akropolis in an attempt to restore peace to the city. The main source of comedy in the Assembly-Women is a similar usurpation of male power as the women attempt to reform Athenian society along utopian-communist lines. Finally, Wealth is Aristophanes' last surviving comedy, in which Ploutos, thegod of wealth is cured of his blindness and the remarkable social consequences of his new discrimination are exemplified.This is the first complete verse translation of Aristophanes' comedies to appear for more than twenty-five years and makes freshly available one of the most remarkable comic playwrights in the entire Western tradition, complete with an illuminating introduction including play by play analysis anddetailed notes.
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.
- Author : Aristophanes
- Publisher : Liveright Publishing
- Release Date : 2021-02-16
- Genre : Drama
- Pages : 432
- ISBN : 9781631496332
Capturing the antic outrageousness and lyrical brilliance of antiquity’s greatest comedies, Aaron Poochigian’s Aristophanes: Four Plays brings these classic dramas to vivid life for a twenty-first century audience. The citizens of ancient Athens enjoyed a freedom of speech as broad as our own. This freedom, parrhesia, the right to say what one pleased, how and when one pleased, and to whom, had no more fervent champion than the brilliant fifth-century comic playwright Aristophanes. His plays, immensely popular with the Athenian public, were frequently crude, even obscene. He ridiculed the great and the good of the city, showing up their hypocrisy and arrogance in ways that went far beyond the standards of good taste, securing the ire (and sometimes the retaliation) of his powerful targets. He showed his contemporaries, and he teaches us now, that when those in power act obscenely, patriotic obscenity is a fitting response. Aristophanes’s satirical masterpieces were also surpassingly virtuosic works of poetry. The metrical variety of his plays has always thrilled readers who can access the original Greek, but until now, English translations have failed to capture their lyrical genius. Aaron Poochigian, the first poet-classicist to tackle these plays in a generation, brings back to life four of Aristophanes’s most entertaining, wickedly crude, and frequently beautiful lyric comedies—the pinnacle of his comic art: · Clouds, a play famous for its caricature of antiquity’s greatest philosopher, Socrates; · Lysistrata, in which a woman convinces her female compatriots to withhold sex from their warmongering lovers unless they negotiate peace; · Birds, in which feathered creatures build a great city and become like gods; · and Women of the Assembly, Aristophones’s most revolutionary play, which inverts the norms of gender and power. Poochigian’s new rendering of these comic masterpieces finally gives contemporary readers a sense of the subversive pleasu
In 'The Wasps' an old-fashioned father and his loose-living son come to blows--and end up in court; elsewhere Aristophanes milks the clash of generations for all it is worth by sending up the purveyors of new ideas like Socrates and Euripides (the most controversial of the great tragedians). In 'The Poet and the Women' Euripides, accused of misogyny, gets a relative in drag to infiltrate an all-woman festival and find out what revenge is being plotted, with predictable bawdy results. In 'The Frogs, ' written in the darkest days of the Peloponnesian War, the god Dionysus descends to the Underworld to find a poet to bring back: does Athens in her hour of danger need the traditional wisdom of Aeschylus or the brilliant modern cleverness of Euripides? As the great debate proceeds, Aristophanes combines parody with slapstick and political discussion with pantomime high spirit, to produce a hilarious and unique masterpiece.
- Author : Gary K Carey
- Publisher : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Release Date : 1983-12-15
- Genre : Literary Criticism
- Pages : 84
- ISBN : 9780544182622
This CliffsNotes guide includes everything you’ve come to expect from the trusted experts at CliffsNotes, including analysis of the most widely read literary works.
Aristophanes (ca. 446 BCE-ca. 386 BCE) was a comic playwright of ancient Athens. This collection includes Lysistrata, The Archanians, The Birds, and The Clouds.
English translations of three of Aristophanes' most popular plays. Includes helpful notes, an introductory essay on Aristophanes and the ancient theater, and a bibliography. Each play is preceded by an essay on its history, cultural context and production.
Collects five comedies from Aristophanes, including "The Birds," in which two Athenians join the birds to build a utopian city.
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.
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.
Brings together the works of Classical comedy, with two early Greek plays: Aristophanes' Birds, and Menander's The Girl from Samos; and two Roman comic plays: Plautus' The Brothers Menaechmus and Terence's double love-plot, The Eunuch. Together, these four plays demonstrate the development of Classical comedy.
Provides insight into the characteristically Greek elements of comedy which can be lost when reading in translation