The Birds and Other Plays

The Birds and Other Plays

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Overview

The Birds and Other Plays by Aristophanes

Five comedies from Ancient Greece that freely blend satire and slapstick

Offering a window into the world of ordinary Athenians, Aristophanes' The Birds and Other Plays is a timeless set of comedies, combining witty satire and raucous slapstick to wonderful effect. The plays in this volume all contain Aristophanes' trademark bawdy comedy and dazzling verbal agility. In The Birds, two cunning Athenians persuade the birds to build the utopian city of 'Much Cuckoo in the Clouds' in the sky, blockading the Olympian gods and installing themselves as new deities. The Knights is a venomous satire on Cleon, a prominent Athenian demagogue, who vies with a humble sausage-seller for the approval of the people; while The Assembly-Women deals with the battle of the sexes as the women of Athens infiltrate the all-male Assembly in disguise. The lengthy conflict with Sparta is the subject of Peace, inspired by the hope of a settlement in 421 BC, and Wealth reflects on the economic catastrophe that hit Athens after the war.

These lively translations by David Barrett and Alan H. Sommerstein capture the full humour of the plays. The introduction examines Aristophanes' life and times, and the comedy and poetry of his works, and this edition also includes an introductory note for each play. 

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140449518
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/28/2003
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 431,955
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Aristophanes was born, probably in Athens, c. 449 BC and died between 386 and 380 BC. Little is known about his life, but there is a portrait of him in Plato's Symposium. He was twice threatened with prosecution in the 420s for his outspoken attacks on the prominent politician Cleon, but in 405 he was publicly honored and crowned for promoting Athenian civic unity in The Frogs. Aristophanes had his first comedy produced when he was about twenty-one, and wrote forty plays in all. The eleven surviving plays of Aristophanes are published in the Penguin Classics series as The Birds and Other PlaysLysistrata and Other Plays, and The Wasps/The Poet and the Women/The Frogs.

David Barrett has translated a number of ancient Greek texts for Penguin Classics.

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Birds and Other Plays 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
manirul01 More than 1 year ago
Awesome....!Beautiful....!Wonderful....!I really enjoy it.....!
Criticus More than 1 year ago
Excellent translation if you want something historically accurate (as opposed to the translator's own modern substitute jokes). The book does contain the plays stated (Birds, Lysistrata, Assembly-Women, Wealth): another user's comment is incorrect (possibly added to the wrong item?).
jeslyn_nighthawk More than 1 year ago
This probably has a pretty decent translation, but this book is not the content that is listed on the website. It only has "The Birds", "The Frogs" and "The Clouds." I was looking for an edition that had Birds and Peace, and obviously this seemed like a good choice. Until they update the table of contents, I would not recommend this edition.