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Frogs and Other Plays

Overview

In 'The Wasps' an old-fashioned father and his loose-living son come to blows--and end up in court; elsewhere Aristophanes milks the clash of generations for all it is worth by sending up the purveyors of new ideas like Socrates and Euripides (the most controversial of the great tragedians). In 'The Poet and the Women' Euripides, accused of misogyny, gets a relative in drag to infiltrate an all-woman festival and find out what revenge is being plotted, with predictable bawdy results. In 'The Frogs, ' written in ...
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Overview

In 'The Wasps' an old-fashioned father and his loose-living son come to blows--and end up in court; elsewhere Aristophanes milks the clash of generations for all it is worth by sending up the purveyors of new ideas like Socrates and Euripides (the most controversial of the great tragedians). In 'The Poet and the Women' Euripides, accused of misogyny, gets a relative in drag to infiltrate an all-woman festival and find out what revenge is being plotted, with predictable bawdy results. In 'The Frogs, ' written in the darkest days of the Peloponnesian War, the god Dionysus descends to the Underworld to find a poet to bring back: does Athens in her hour of danger need the traditional wisdom of Aeschylus or the brilliant modern cleverness of Euripides? As the great debate proceeds, Aristophanes combines parody with slapstick and political discussion with pantomime high spirit, to produce a hilarious and unique masterpiece.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140449693
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 4/6/2007
  • Series: Penguin Classics Series
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 461,724
  • Product dimensions: 5.05 (w) x 7.77 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Aristophanes (446 BC-386 BC), son of Philippus, of the deme Cydathenaus, was a comic playwright of ancient Athens. Eleven of his 40 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 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 also 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, the first of many plays that he directed himself. "In my opinion," he says through the Chorus in that play, "the author-director of comedies has the hardest job of all."
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