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- DescriptionThe ackwledged master of Greek comedy, Aristophanes brilliantly combines serious political satire with bawdiness, pyrotechnical bombast with delicate lyrics. The Birds, a 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. The Birds was performed in 414 BCE at the City Dionysia where it won second prize. It has been acclaimed by modern critics as a perfectly realized fantasy remarkable for its mimicry of birds and for the gaiety of its songs. Unlike the author's other early plays, it includes direct mention of the Peloponnesian War and there are few references to Athenian politics and yet it was staged t long after the commencement of the Sicilian Expedition, an ambitious military campaign that had greatly increased Athenian commitment to the war effort. The longest of Aristophanes' surviving plays, The Birds is a fairly conventional example of Old Comedy.
- Author BiographyAristophanes (ca. 446-ca. 386 BC), son of Philippus, of the deme Cydathenaus, was a prolific and much acclaimed comic playwright of ancient Athens. Eleven of his forty plays survive virtually complete. These, together with fragments of some of his other plays, provide the only real examples of a genre of comic drama known as Old Comedy, and they are in fact used to define the genre. Also known as the Father of Comedy and the Prince of Ancient Comedy, Aristophanes has been said to recreate the life of ancient Athens more convincingly than any other author. His powers of ridicule were feared and acknowledged by influential contemporaries - Plato singled out Aristophanes' play The Clouds as slander contributing to the trial and execution of Socrates although other satirical playwrights had caricatured the philosopher. His second play, The Babylonians (now lost), was denounced by the demagogue Cleon as a slander against the Athenian polis. It is possible that the case was argued in court but details of the trial are not recorded and Aristophanes caricatured Cleon mercilessly in his subsequent plays, especially The Knights. In my opinion, he says through the Chorus in that play, the author-director of comedies has the hardest job of all. He is also known for some famous sayings, such as By words the mind is winged.
- PublisherCreatespace Independent Publishing Platform
- Date of Publication02/07/2010
- FormatPaperback / softback
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintCreatespace Independent Publishing Platform
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight109 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine4 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US),Unsewn / adhesive bound
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