Frogs and Other Plays

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CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, Jul 2, 2010 - Literary Collections - 244 pages
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The acknowledged master of Greek comedy, Aristophanes brilliantly combines serious political satire with bawdiness, pyrotechnical bombast with delicate lyrics. "Frogs and Other Plays" features his four most celebrated masterpieces: THE CLOUDS, THE BIRDS, LYSISTRATA, and THE FROGS. This edition features wonderful translations of "The Clouds", "The Birds", "Lysistrata", and "The Frogs". "Frogs and Other Plays " includes THE FROGS: Visiting the underworld, the god Dionysus seeks the counsel of the dead tragedians Aeschylus and Euripides on how to bring good writing back to Athens. A fierce debate - full of scathing insults and literary satire - ensues between the two dramatists. THE CLOUDS: The most controversial of Aristophanes' plays, it is a brilliant caricature of the philosopher Socrates, seen as a wily sophist who teaches men to cheat through cunning argument. THE BIRDS: This portrayal of a flawed utopia called Cloudcuckooland is an enchanting escape into the world of free-flying fantasy that explores the eternal dilemmas of man on earth. LYSISTRATA: In the twenty-first year of the Peloponnesian War, the women of Athens and Sparta, tired of the incessant fighting between their men, resolve to withhold sex from their husbands until peace is settled.

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About the author (2010)

Aristophanes (ca. 446-ca. 386 BC), son of Philippus, of the deme Cydathenaus, was a prolific and much acclaimed comic playwright of ancient Athens. Eleven of his forty plays survive virtually complete. These, together with fragments of some of his other plays, provide the only real examples of a genre of comic drama known as Old Comedy, and they are in fact used to define the genre. Also known as the Father of Comedy and the Prince of Ancient Comedy, Aristophanes has been said to recreate the life of ancient Athens more convincingly than any other author. His powers of ridicule were feared and acknowledged by influential contemporaries - Plato singled out Aristophanes' play The Clouds as slander contributing to the trial and execution of Socrates although other satirical playwrights had caricatured the philosopher. His second play, The Babylonians (now lost), was denounced by the demagogue Cleon as a slander against the Athenian polis. It is possible that the case was argued in court but details of the trial are not recorded and Aristophanes caricatured Cleon mercilessly in his subsequent plays, especially The Knights. "In my opinion," he says through the Chorus in that play, "the author-director of comedies has the hardest job of all." He is also known for some famous sayings, such as "By words the mind is winged.

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