Four plays

Front Cover
New American Library, Nov 1, 1984 - Drama - 619 pages
The acknowledged master of Greek comedy, Aristophanes brilliantly combines serious political satire with bawdiness, pyrotechnical bombast with delicate lyrics. This volumes features his four most celebrated masterpieces: THE CLOUDS, THE BIRDS, LYSISTRATA, and THE FROGS. Three of the leading translators of the 20th century--William Arrowsmith, Richmond Lattimore, and Douglas Parker--have created versions of the comedies that are at once contemporary, historically accurate, and funny. Also included are introductions to each play that describe the historical and literary background of the work.

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User Review  - AbigailAdams26 - LibraryThing

Although I am a student of classical antiquity, and studied classical Greek in college, I have never been able to work up more than an academic interest in Aristophanes. While I can see the importance ... Read full review

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User Review  - AlCracka - LibraryThing

I don't always love Aristophanes; he can really cram the obscure contemporary references into his stuff, which makes it sortof impossible to get the jokes. But he makes a lot of fart jokes, too, and ... Read full review

Contents

CONTENTS
13
The Clouds
59
Notes
149
Copyright

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About the author (1984)

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.

William Arrowsmith was a renowned translator and classics scholar.

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