The Birds

Front Cover
Courier Corporation, 2012 - Drama - 48 pages
5 Reviews
Lamenting the unwholesome state of human affairs, a pair of adventurers turn their backs on civilization as they know it and unite with the birds to found an idyllic city in the clouds. Among the earliest existing portrayals of a utopian society, this sparkling fantasy by one of antiquity's most brilliant and popular playwrights offers modern audiences and readers a vision of ancient Greek theater at its very finest.
Widely acknowledged as Aristophanes' masterpiece, this rollicking farce follows the two Athenians into their self-imposed exile as they negotiate with their avian allies to establish a "Cloud-cuckoo-town" between heaven and earth. Satirical targets include Socrates, depicted here as a wily sophist, and the gods themselves, who ultimately capitulate to the utopians' crafty maneuverings.
"The Birds" resounds with comic vitality, combining witty dialog, interludes of exquisite lyricism, and clever stage effects for an extravaganza as appealing to contemporary audiences as it was to Athenians of more than 2,000 years ago. This inexpensive edition offers students, teachers, and theater lovers a handsome and durable means of savoring this immortal comedy.
Dover (1999) unabridged republication of the anonymous translation originally appearing in "Aristophanes: The Eleven Comedies, "published by Horace Liveright, New York, 1928. Introductory Note. Translator's footnotes.

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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

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About the author (2012)

Aristophanes, 448 b.c. - 385 b.c. Aristophanes is considered to be one of the greatest comedic writers ever to have taken to the stage. He was born in Athens, Greece, in the town of Cydathenaeum. Aristophanes is believed to have been well educated, which would explain his propensity towards words. It is also believed that he owned land on the island of Aegina. Aristophanes was first a satirist, he was well known for attacking anything from politics to poets, mainly the war between Sparta and Athens and the poet Euripides. He wrote more than 40, eleven of which are still being acted today. "The Acharnians" was his first play, written in 425, B.C.. This was the first of his plays in reaction to the war, as well as the play "Peace." But perhaps Aristophanes most famous play, Lysistrata, made his true feelings of the war known. In this play, the women seek peace by claiming celibacy until the fighting is stopped. It is the play that he is most famous for, for capturing the feeling of the people in a way that was both lighthearted and poignant. Aristophanes died three years after the war ended, in 385, B.C.,but left behind a legacy that has lasted to the present day.

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