Aristophanes Four Comedies

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Author  New English Versions by Dudley Fitts

Publisher Harcourt Brace Jovanovich A Harvest Book

Binding Paperback 

The condition is good, but it contains some writing in the margins. likely used in a college course. But the binding is good. 


Aristophanes' comedies, as translated by Dudley Fitts, present a masterful blend of satire, wit, and political commentary. The four plays included in this edition are "Lysistrata," "The Frogs," "The Clouds," and "The Birds."

"Lysistrata" tells the story of women from various Greek city-states, led by the titular character, who band together to end the Peloponnesian War by withholding sexual privileges from their husbands until peace is negotiated. This comedic yet poignant narrative explores themes of gender relations and the absurdity of war.

"The Frogs" follows the god Dionysus as he ventures to the underworld to bring back the playwright Euripides. Disguised as Heracles, Dionysus encounters various comedic challenges and ultimately presides over a contest between Euripides and Aeschylus, reflecting on the value of art and literature.

In "The Clouds," Aristophanes satirizes contemporary Athenian philosophers, particularly Socrates. The play focuses on Strepsiades, an old man burdened with debt, who enrolls in Socrates' "Thinkery" to learn deceitful tactics to outwit his creditors. The play critiques the sophistry and moral relativism of the time.

"The Birds" follows two Athenians, Peisthetaerus and Euelpides, who seek to escape their city’s troubles by creating a utopian society among the birds. They convince the birds to build a new city in the sky, which eventually challenges the gods themselves, highlighting themes of ambition and idealism.

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