Review: Four Plays by Aristophanes

Four Plays by Aristophanes: The Clouds/The Birds/Lysistrata/The FrogsFour Plays by Aristophanes: The Birds; The Clouds; The Frogs; Lysistrata
by Aristophanes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Four Plays by Aristophanes / 0-452-00717-8

This edition features wonderful translations of "The Clouds", "The Birds", "Lysistrata", and "The Frogs". The humor and satire is well-managed within the translation, particularly within (my favorite) "Lysistrata". The bantering dialogue within the play is hilarious from the exhortations of the women to their fellow sisters to abstain from sex with their men (regardless of their own strong, womanly desires) to the tongue-in-cheek dialogue between a teasing wife and her impatient husband, to the final division of land to be 'presented' in the form of a nude lady acting as a visual aid.

The four plays are described in this edition as follows:

THE CLOUDS: The most controversial of Aristophanes' plays, it is a brilliant caricature of the philosopher Socrates, seen as a wily sophist who teaches men to cheat through cunning argument.

THE BIRDS: This portrayal of a flawed utopia called Cloudcuckooland is an enchanting escape into the world of free-flying fantasy that explores the eternal dilemmas of man on earth.

LYSISTRATA: In the twenty-first year of the Peloponnesian War, the women of Athens and Sparta, tired of the incessant fighting between their men, resolve to withhold sex from their husbands until peace is settled.

THE FROGS: Visiting the underworld, the god Dionysus seeks the counsel of the dead tragedians Aeschylus and Euripides on how to bring good writing back to Athens. A fierce debate - full of scathing insults and literary satire - ensues between the two dramatists.

~ Ana Mardoll

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