Lysistrata, The Women's Festival, and Frogs

Overview

Most readers nowadays encounter the plays of Aristophanes in the classroom, not the theater. Yet the "father of comedy" wrote his plays for the stage, not as literary texts. Many English translations of the plays were written decades ago, and in their outdated language they fail to capture the dramatic liveliness of the original comedies. Now Michael Ewans offers new and lively translations of three of Aristophanes' finest plays: Lysistrata, The Women's Festival, and Frogs. While remaining faithful to the ...
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Overview

Most readers nowadays encounter the plays of Aristophanes in the classroom, not the theater. Yet the "father of comedy" wrote his plays for the stage, not as literary texts. Many English translations of the plays were written decades ago, and in their outdated language they fail to capture the dramatic liveliness of the original comedies. Now Michael Ewans offers new and lively translations of three of Aristophanes' finest plays: Lysistrata, The Women's Festival, and Frogs. While remaining faithful to the original Greek, these translations are accessible to a modern audience—and actable on stage.

Here readers will discover—in all its uncensored glory—the often raw sexual and scatological language Aristophanes used in his fantastically inventive works. This edition also contains all that a reader needs to understand the plays within a broader context. In his comprehensive introduction, Ewans discusses political and social aspects of Aristophanic comedy, the conventions of Greek theater, and the challenges of translating ancient Greek into modern English. In his theatrical commentaries—a unique feature of this edition—Ewans draws on his own experience of directing the plays in a replica of the original theater. In scene-by-scene analysis, he provides insight into the major issues each play raises in performance. The volume concludes with two glossaries—one of proper names and the other of Greek terms—as well as a bibliography that includes the most recent scholarship on Aristophanic comedy.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806141510
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
  • Publication date: 1/15/2011
  • Series: Oklahoma Series in Classical Culture , #42
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Ewans has recently retired as Professor of Drama at the University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. An experienced translator of ancient Greek drama, he has also directed numerous full productions of Greek plays. His published works include translations of plays by Sophocles and Aeschylus as well as three books on opera.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

Preface ix

Chronology of Aristophanes' Life and Times xi

Introduction 3

The Festivals of Dionysus 3

Aristophanic Comedy 5

Aristophanes and the Athenians 10

Women in Aristophanes 12

Aristophanes and Euripides 13

Comedy and Politics 14

Lysistrata 16

The Women's Festival 22

Frogs 24

Performance 29

Translation 41

Note on the Presentation of the Translations 47

Lysistrata 51

The Women's Festival 105

Frogs 159

Theatrical Commentary 225

Lysistrata 227

The Women's Festival 251

Frogs 276

Appendix 1 Recommended Cuts 297

Appendix 2 A Reconstruction of Aristophanes' Original Doublings 299

Glossary of Proper Names 303

Glossary of Greek Words 319

Bibliography 321

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