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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