Four Plays: The Clouds/The Birds/Lysistrata/The Frogs

Four Plays The Clouds The Birds Lysistrata The Frogs This volume brings together the four most acclaimed comedies of Greek playwright Aristophanes The darker comedy of The Clouds satirizes Athenian philosophers Socrates in particular and reflects the un

This volume brings together the four most acclaimed comedies of Greek playwright Aristophanes The darker comedy of The Clouds satirizes Athenian philosophers Socrates in particular and reflects the uncertainties of a generation in which all traditional religious and ethical beliefs were being challenged The Birds takes place in a flawed utopia, with man s eternal flaThis volume brings together the four most acclaimed comedies of Greek playwright Aristophanes The darker comedy of The Clouds satirizes Athenian philosophers Socrates in particular and reflects the uncertainties of a generation in which all traditional religious and ethical beliefs were being challenged The Birds takes place in a flawed utopia, with man s eternal flaws observed from up above In Lysistrata a band of women use sex s manipulative power in order to try and end a war In The Frogs, the god Dionysus visits the underworld, consulting the late Aeschylus and Euripides regarding whether or not classical Athens will ever have another great dramatist and provoking an argument between both.Three of the leading Greek translators of the twentieth century William Arrowsmith, Richmond Latti, and Douglas Parker have created versions of the comedies that are at once contemporary, historically accurate, and funny Also included are introductions to each play that describe the historical and literary background of the work.

  • Four Plays: The Clouds/The Birds/Lysistrata/The Frogs Best Read || [Aristophanes William Arrowsmith Richmond Lattimore Douglass Parker]
    282 Aristophanes William Arrowsmith Richmond Lattimore Douglass Parker
Four Plays: The Clouds/The Birds/Lysistrata/The Frogs

  1. Aristophanes William Arrowsmith Richmond Lattimore Douglass Parker says:
    Aristophanes Greek c 446 BCE c 386 BCE was a playwright of ancient Athens About 11 of his works are known in full, and they are the only plays of the Old Comedy style to have survived They are The Acharnians, The Birds, The Clouds, The Ecclesiazusae, The Frogs, The Knights, Peace, Plutus Wealth , The Thesmophoriazusae, and The Wasps These plays have been translated into many languages and continue to be staged or adapted for theatrical productions.Aristophanes satirized the political and social issues of 5th century BC Athens, such as the ongoing Peloponnesian War, the structure of the city state, the role of women in public life, the influence of philosophers notably Socrates in shaping public opinion.

406 Reply to “Four Plays: The Clouds/The Birds/Lysistrata/The Frogs”

  1. I don t want the Greeks brought to me, I want to be brought to the Greeks If you modernise so much, and add all sorts of bits of your own invention, just to make a potentially performable play for a modern audience, what is left I want the strangeness, the oddness, the Othernessat is the whole point for me of reading this sort of thing

  2. I don t always love Aristophanes he can really cram the obscure contemporary references into his stuff, which makes it sortof impossible to get the jokes But he makes a lot of fart jokes, too, and those are timeless.In order, the best of these plays 1 Lysistrata, by a long shot The most original of Aristophanes ideas, and the most timeless as recently as 2012, feminists sarcastically suggested a Lysistrata when the Republicans accidentally launched an ill fated war on birth control The story is [...]

  3. Although such evidence is hardly scientific, I can t help but think that Aristophanes s continuing enjoyability of than two millennia shows something essential about human nature It s really incredible, when you think about it Ancient Athenians, living in a different political system, with an entirely different conception of the world and their place within it, with different customs and rituals, different sexual s, and far inferior technologies in short, a set of cultural and environmental cir [...]

  4. Reading Greek tragedy and then reading Greek comedy is quite the experience It s sort of like attending a symphony and then half way through being magically transported to a middle school boys locker room where scatological humor and sexual jokes run wild Some of it is so over the top incessant farting and fart jokes in The Clouds but other jokes are pretty dang funny For example, The Lysistrata, where the Greek women go to heroic lengths to successfully end the Peloponnesian War by withholding [...]

  5. I accidentally chose the wrong four plays on , as I read Four COMEDIES of Aristophanes, not Four Plays But two of those comedies were Lysistrata and The Frogs so I ll go with it anyway These plays are full of ribaldry and off color jokes, not really Safe For Work As with most plays they really need to be seen performed instead of read, as there is much physical comedy involved Also would help to be an Athenian from 5th century B.C Greece, as these were written during the Peloponnesian War and co [...]

  6. This translation of Aristophanes is really readable and raunchy I read The Clouds and The Birds Will have to check out again to read Lysistrata, which I find cited pretty often The butt stuff alone makes it worth a read Was surprised to find the satire of the Sophists leveled in The Clouds relevant to pseudo scientific bloviation of our own time The introductions, commentary, and notes included in this edition were helpful However, this translation is clear enough that you don t have to spend to [...]

  7. Out of the four plays contained here, I liked Lysistrata the best I might read other translations of that particular play too The Clouds was meh, and The Birds was actually not as bad as I thought from reading the description of it But The Frogs was lost to me, probably because it s mainly about the technical styles of Euripides and Aeschylus both of whom I read, like YEARS ago.

  8. I ll just use this Book review to get something down for my future reference for all the Aristophanes plays I have so far read At this stage, I ve read most of the famous ones apart from the Clouds, Pace and the Thesmophoriozusae both of which I think I might read in the Greek, cause i got a good copy of both Peace and the clouds with a commentary and Thesmophoriozousae is on my syllabus and I ve left the poorer, transitional plays till last Wealth, Eccleziazousae as well as the Acharnians.Thes [...]

  9. The thing which most impressed me about this book was that the plays are dialectically translated that is, Roche not only follows the originals as literally as possible, he uses modern slang to capture the cultural connotations, double entendres, and dirty jokes of the Ancients in all their accurate glory Bet you hadn t realized that we ve been making strap on jibes for a long, long time, huh Of course, Lysistrata was my favorite play, and not just because it gives power to women in a way you do [...]

  10. There s really 4 works here, so 4 reviews there must be from best to worse, IMHO Lysistrata 2 Thumbs UpBrilliant, original at 2500 years old, it should be concept, and humorously executed Athenian and Spartan women plot to withhold sex from the men to force an end to the disastrous and interminable Peloponnesian War Great to see strong females at this early stage.The Birds 1.5 Thumbs UpAgain, great concept Athenians wish to escape litigious Athens and live the simpler life amongst the Birds Inst [...]

  11. Four Plays by Aristophanes 0 452 00717 8This 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 [...]

  12. These four plays The Clouds, The Birds, Lysistrata, and The Frogs translated by Arrowsmith, Latti and Parker are hilarious Seriously, I thoroughly enjoyed the contemporary, somewhat irreverent language which helped bring to life the ways that Aristophanes was poking fun at his Greek forefathers and rivals For example, the following excerpt is from The Clouds Sokrates The boy s a born philosopher Yes, sir, when he was just a mite of a shaver, so high, he used to make the cleverest things you ever [...]

  13. I m not sure I liked this translation very much The translator took some very interesting liberties with the language, including giving the Spartans a markedly southern hick sort of drawl, and modernizing the language to the point of losing a sense that you re reading a Greek play written hundreds of years ago BUT, I loved how that worked with Lysistrata It s a beautifully funny play to begin with, and the modern touches added an interesting element It s particularly relevant to me as I ve been [...]

  14. Read The Frogs this week At first, I wasn t laughing But then I started to embrace the play as something with a touch of the silly slapstick humor of, say, Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein, and something of the biting political humor of Lenny Bruce And I found myself laughing out loud Oh, what a marvelous delight this must have been for the Athenians An opportunity to laugh in 25 years into the Peloponnesian War To laugh at the war, the politicians, and themselves To hug the lines of literat [...]

  15. Did anyone else feel like these plays were really all over the place I mean Cloudcuckoland A bunch of women who withhold sex in an effort to take the city The clouds vs as the gods Some parts were very amusing I guess you can see where people get their appreciation for random humor after reading this But honestly I really was not terribly impressed Many of the jokes were frankly just confusing by the end of it all Boloney anyone Really how did that get in there I also think perhaps the translato [...]

  16. I ve never been a fan of broad comedy and low humor and Aristophanes doesn t get a pass from me because he s ancient But for many years one of the assignments in my AP Lit class was for groups to choose a play from Aristophanes and the three extant tragic playwrights Usually, the group that chose Aristophanes would do Lysistrata and those groups always had a great time with it They especially loved that one of the props were the huge phalluses that the men wore One year the group brought out a b [...]

  17. This was my first time reading Aristophanes, and I have always heard he s a comedic genius, but I was blown away by how modern some of these jokes are The obscure poking at his contemporary politicians and others were hard to understand, but the amount of wordplay and other jokes hold up well Part of that may be the translation as they do preface the amount of jokes are updated to modern times, but even then it s remarkable how well they were able to turn his poetic stanzas to a modern ear and k [...]

  18. Three different translators have brought these ancient Greek plays into language modern enough for us to easily grasp their meaning Lysistrata is probably the most popular who can resist a storyline like this The women of Athens are fed up All the men seem to do is go to war, no fun for anyone Deciding on direct action, they call in the women of Sparta and the Peleponnese, and suggest that steadfast withdrawing of sexual favours unless the men negotiate a peace is definitely the way to go Very f [...]

  19. I borrowed this book specifically to read Lysistrata This one, I did find pretty amusing and I d rate it a 3 star I liked how the women forced men to submit through closing their legs That had me giggling Then I moved on to The Clouds Oy vey I wanted to smack the father and son in this one It was a rather sad commentary about fathers and sons, and spending than one can afford I moved onto the Birds and promptly lost interest I tried part of The Frogs too I lost interest there too O_o Oh well, a [...]

  20. THE BIRDS only It s normally possible for me to read a translated work and at least try to forget the fact that I m reading a piece of translation In the case of this translation, however, almost every word drove the point home That s not necessarily a bad thing, however Arrowsmith s work calls attention to itself in a way that forced me to treat the text as a scaffold for ideas than a piece of crafted language he explains this in great detail and with eloquence than I can muster in the introd [...]

  21. I m giving this 4 stars, not because I loved the book, but because I thought the edition was great, the notes very informative, the translation true in that you got the modern version of what the Greek might have been As far as actual enjoyable reading, I m not sure I really liked The Clouds and I thought the exploration of sophistry was very astute It felt true even now The humor is a little out of reach for me potty and sexual humor , but any different culture will have a different kind of hum [...]

  22. Unstoppably funny The Clouds is an old favorite and the Frogs a recent discovery but Aristophanes is definitely my sense of humor certainly, I find him much funnier than Menander, who is a chore than anything else for me How could I forget Lysistrata This edition, in particular, is dear to me I think that translation is especially good and, since first being exposed to it in college, I ve met one of the still living translators, Douglass Parker Parker is as funny as you would expect.

  23. Aristophanes never fails to please If you think ancient plays will only be funny for people living in ancient times, then you are sorely mistaken the same rules for humour apply, which means that comedy really is timeless From the bawdy sexual protests of Lysistrata to the political dealings within the clouds, Aristophanes is a playwright that defined the comedic genre and it s easy to see why.

  24. I only read The Clouds, The Frogs, and Lysistrata from this book I am not impressed by the profanity of Aristophanes The poet had much to say about the life and times of Greece including politics, the philosophy and wars of his day and he portrayed his opinions through his plays Not much difference between that and the theatre of our day However, I must say that I prefer to read Sophocles and Aeschylus much than Aristophanes due to their higher morals and standards.

  25. I read Lysistrata after I read the Frogs Lysistrata was better than The Frogs and really worth reading The women of Athens withhold sex from their husbands until they agree to end the war with Sparta It s fun and an entertaining comedy For kicks, listen to Frank Deford s NPR commentary about a modern day update of Lysistrata set in a basketball context.

  26. I saw a group a home theatre group perform the Frogs in a back garden one summer It was really funny.I ve seem Lysistrata as well, that was damn good too.I like Aristophanes So many levels in his plays, right from toilet and sexual humour, all the way up to satire and social comment good stuff.

  27. Frigging Hilarious And taught me something about translation if you translate a comedy and the result isn t comedic, you have failed Unless it wasn t funny in the first place, or you re writing for an audience of scholars Good translation evokes feelings similar to the ones that readers of the original text experience If that means you have to take liberties with meaning, so be it.

  28. Read The Frogs last semester for theater history, The Birds for dramatic structure comedy this semester I prefer The Frogs knowing the Sondheim musical helped , but The Birds had its moments Unfortunately, the notes on Aristophanes obscure references were presented as endnotes, instead of footnotes, which got annoying Still, amusing.

  29. I read The Birds and The Clouds These plays are well done, but as I continued through the second play, I found myself tiring of reading plays The humor was great though and they were well translated.Honestly, what I appreciated the most in this text was the fact that flatulent based humor was alive and well in 350 BC

  30. I have loved these Ancient works since I was a young adult, maybe fifteen or so They had stood the test of time, and are in places, incredibly funny Imagine a veiled in black, Greek Chorus, looking severe, making frog noises I loved it Always have.

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