Birds

Front Cover
Aris & Phillips, Sep 1, 1987 - Drama - 311 pages
Text with facing translation, commentary and notes. (Aris and Phillips 1987)

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - janerawoof - LibraryThing

Masterful translation of a witty play. I'm not sure of the meaning of the play, but I can see where elements of low humor today were birthed in ancient times. I appreciated the translator's notes and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - datrappert - LibraryThing

This is a great play in any translation, but Arrowsmith's decision to use various dialects (such as Brooklynese) for some of the characters (to reproduce the effect the use of various Greek dialects ... Read full review

About the author (1987)

ARISTOPHANES, the most famous comic dramatist of ancient Greece, was born an Athenian citizen in about 445 B.C. Forty-four plays have been attributed to Aristophanes; eleven of these have survived. His plays are the only extant representatives of Greek Old Comedy, a dramatic form whose conventions made it inevitable that the author would comment on the political and social issues of fifth-century Athens. This Aristophanes did so well that Plato, asked by the tyrant of Syracuse for an analysis of Athenians, sent a copy of Aristophanes' plays in reply.
    
His earliest play, the Banqueters, won the second prize in 427 B.C. when the dramatist must have been less than eighteen years old, since, as he notes in the Clouds (423), he was too young to produce it in his own name. Another early play, the Babylonians, criticized the demagogue Cleon, who responded by subjecting Aristophanes to legal persecution, and as the author charges in the Acharnians, Cleon had "slanged, and lied, and slandered and betongued me . . . till I well nigh was done to death." Nevertheless, in the Knights (424), he renewed his attack on the popular Athenian leader and won first prize in that year's contest. Plutus (388) was the last of the author's plays to be produced in his lifetime.