The Acharnians/The Clouds/Lysistrata 'We women have the salvation of Greece in our hands' Writing at a time of political and social crisis in Athens, the ancient Greek comic playwright Aristophanes was an eloquent, yet bawdy, challenger to the demagogue and the sophist. In Lysistrata and The Acharnians, two pleas for an end to the long war between Athens and Sparta, a band of women on a sex strike and a lone peasant respectively defeat the political establishment. 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. Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Alan H. Sommerstein
In Aristophanes' Lysistrata, the women of Athens, fed up with the war against Sparta, go on a sex strike and barricade themselves into the acropolis to persuade their husbands to vote against the war. It is the most often performed of all Aristophanes' comedies. It is also, perhaps, the most misunderstood. This collection of essays by eight leading academics - written for sixth-form students and the general public alike - sets the play firmly in its historical and social context, while exploring Aristophanes' purpose in writing it and considering the responses of modern audiences and directors. The collection has been assembled and edited by David Stuttard, whose energetic new performing version of the play is included in this volume. Contributors include: Alan Beale; Edith Hall; Lorna Hardwick; James Morwood; Martin Revermann; James Robson; Alan H. Sommerstein; Michael Walton.
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|Publisher||: Liveright Publishing|
|Release Date||: 2021-02-16|
|ISBN 10||: 1631496336|
|Pages||: 432 pages|
Capturing the antic outrageousness and lyrical brilliance of antiquity’s greatest comedies, Aaron Poochigian’s Aristophanes: Four Plays brings these classic dramas to vivid life for a twenty-first century audience. The citizens of ancient Athens enjoyed a freedom of speech as broad as our own. This freedom, parrhesia, the right to say what one pleased, how and when one pleased, and to whom, had no more fervent champion than the brilliant fifth-century comic playwright Aristophanes. His plays, immensely popular with the Athenian public, were frequently crude, even obscene. He ridiculed the great and the good of the city, showing up their hypocrisy and arrogance in ways that went far beyond the standards of good taste, securing the ire (and sometimes the retaliation) of his powerful targets. He showed his contemporaries, and he teaches us now, that when those in power act obscenely, patriotic obscenity is a fitting response. Aristophanes’s satirical masterpieces were also surpassingly virtuosic works of poetry. The metrical variety of his plays has always thrilled readers who can access the original Greek, but until now, English translations have failed to capture their lyrical genius. Aaron Poochigian, the first poet-classicist to tackle these plays in a generation, brings back to life four of Aristophanes’s most entertaining, wickedly crude, and frequently beautiful lyric comedies—the pinnacle of his comic art: · Clouds, a play famous for its caricature of antiquity’s greatest philosopher, Socrates; · Lysistrata, in which a woman convinces her female compatriots to withhold sex from their warmongering lovers unless they negotiate peace; · Birds, in which feathered creatures build a great city and become like gods; · and Women of the Assembly, Aristophones’s most revolutionary play, which inverts the norms of gender and power. Poochigian’s new rendering of these comic masterpieces finally gives contemporary readers a sense of the subversive pleasure Aristophones’s original audiences felt when they were first performed on the Athenian stage.
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.
American adaptations of Aristophanes’ enduring comedy Lysistrata have used laughter to critique sex, war, and feminism for nearly a century. Unlike almost any other play circulating in contemporary theatres, Lysistrata has outlived its classical origins in 411 BCE and continues to shock and delight audiences to this day. The play’s "make love not war" message and bawdy humor render it endlessly appealing to college campuses, activist groups, and community theatres – so much so that none of Aristophanes’ plays are performed in the West as frequently as Lysistrata. Starting with the play’s first mainstream production in the U.S. in 1930, Emily B. Klein explores the varied iterations of Lysistrata that have graced the American stage, page, and screen since the Great Depression. These include the Federal Theatre’s 1936 Negro Repertory production, the 1955 movie musical The Second Greatest Sex and Spiderwoman Theater’s openly political Lysistrata Numbah!, as well as Douglas Carter Beane’s Broadway musical, Lysistrata Jones, and the international Lysistrata Project protests, which updated the classic in the contemporary context of the Iraq War. Although Aristophanes’ oeuvre has been the subject of much classical scholarship, Lysistrata has received little attention from feminist theatre scholars or performance theorists. In response, this book maps current debates over Lysistrata’s dubious feminist underpinnings and uses performance theory, cultural studies, and gender studies to investigate how new adaptations reveal the socio-political climates of their origins. Emily B. Klein is Assistant Professor of English and Drama at Saint Mary's College of California. Her work has appeared in Women and Performance and Frontiers as well as Political and Protest Theater After 9/11: Patriotic Dissent (Routledge, 2012).
Reissue of Aristophanes' most famous plays in the Methuen Classical Greek Dramatists series Aristophanes was a unique writer for the comic stage as well as one of the most revealing about the society for which he wrote.
This volume is a threesome of hilarious comedies which shine a light on the weakness of the powerful and the power in the weak. Views on these two antagonists are challenged and finally reversed. Women are now "on top." The weak and the powerful are thrown into the sand pits of sex and gender and we laugh at the tactics employed by each to get the upper hand. His Lysistrata is the first true feminist in literature, the first activist, the first to disband an army, the first to bring war to an end and the first to organise a sex strike. The first to show us that war and sex are connected. In his Women in Parliament, he has women "penetrating" the epicentre of the men's power, their fortress and the place where they exercise their ego. The activist this time is Praxagora (the woman who is active in the agora, the public, marketplace) They dress themselves in men's clothing (but mustn't kick too high less they reveal their identity) and enter the building well before the men do. Again, the women are the winners and we see the effect of the laws the pass... and, in his Women at the Festival, he depicts their festive behaviour.
A poet who hated an age of decadence, armed conflict, and departure from tradition, Aristophanes' comic genius influenced the political and social order of his own fifth-century Athens. But as Moses Hadas writes in his introduction to this volume, 'His true claim upon our attention is as the most brilliant and artistic and thoughtful wit our world has known.' Includes The Acharnians, The Birds, The Clouds, Ecclesiazusae, The Frogs, The Knights, Lysistrata, Peace, Plutus, Thesmophoriazusae, and The Wasps.
Lysistrata is the third and last of Aristophanes' peace plays. It is a dream of peace, of how the women could help to achieve an honourable settlement, conceived when Athens was going through its blackest, most desperate crisis since the Persian War. Though in modern times this is perhaps the most popular of his works, it has never before had an English translation that aims to be reliable in detail and that is fully annotated. The Greek text is based on a fuller body of evidence than any previous edition.It is astonishing to think that this play was first performed 2,400 years ago, because of all Aristophanes great comedies, Lysistrata seems to speak most clearly to our own age. It could perhaps be described as the world's first feminist drama.Text with facing translation, commentary and notes. 224pp(Aris and Phillips 1990).
This volume presents the Greek text of Aristophanes' Lysistrata, as edited by F. W. Hall and W. M. Geldart, with a parallel verse translation by Ian Johnston on facing pages, which will be useful to those wishing to read the English translation while referring to the Greek original, or vice versa.