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INTRODUCTION "This Comedy, which was produced by its Author the year after the performance of 'The Clouds,' may be taken as in some sort a companion picture to that piece. Here the satire is directed against the passion of the Athenians for the excitement of the law-courts, as in the former its object was the new philosophy. And as the younger generation—the modern school of thought—were there the subjects of the caricature, so here... more...

SCENE: A farmyard, two slaves busy beside a dungheap; afterwards, in Olympus. FIRST SERVANT Quick, quick, bring the dung-beetle his cake. SECOND SERVANT Coming, coming. FIRST SERVANT Give it to him, and may it kill him! SECOND SERVANT May he never eat a better. FIRST SERVANT Now give him this other one kneaded up with ass's dung. SECOND SERVANT There! I've done that too. FIRST SERVANT And where's what you gave him just now; surely he can't... more...

Scene: The interior of a sleeping-apartment:Strepsiades, Phidippides, and two servants are in theirbeds; a small house is seen at a distance. Time:midnight.Strepsiades (sitting up in his bed). Ah me! Ah me! OKing Jupiter, of what a terrible length the nights are!Will it never be day? And yet long since I heard thecock. My domestics are snoring; but they would not havedone so heretofore! May you perish then, O war! For manyreasons; because I may... more...

Xanthias Shall I crack any of those old jokes, master,At which the audience never fail to laugh? DIONYSUS. Aye, what you will, except I'm getting crushed: Fight shy of that: I'm sick of that already. XAN. Nothing else smart? DIO. Aye, save my shoulder's aching. XAN. Come now, that comical joke? DIO. With all my heart. Only be careful not to shift your pole,And— XAN. What? DIO. And vow that you've a bellyache. XAN. May I not say I'm... more...

INTRODUCTION 'The Birds' differs markedly from all the other Comedies of Aristophanes which have come down to us in subject and general conception. It is just an extravaganza pure and simple—a graceful, whimsical theme chosen expressly for the sake of the opportunities it afforded of bright, amusing dialogue, pleasing lyrical interludes, and charming displays of brilliant stage effects and pretty dresses. Unlike other plays of the same... more...

INTRODUCTION This is the first of the series of three Comedies—'The Acharnians,' 'Peace' and 'Lysistrata'—produced at intervals of years, the sixth, tenth and twenty-first of the Peloponnesian War, and impressing on the Athenian people the miseries and disasters due to it and to the scoundrels who by their selfish and reckless policy had provoked it, the consequent ruin of industry and, above all, agriculture, and the urgency of... more...

FOREWORD Lysistrata is the greatest work by Aristophanes. This blank and rash statement is made that it may be rejected. But first let it be understood that I do not mean it is a better written work than the Birds or the Frogs, or that (to descend to the scale of values that will be naturally imputed to me) it has any more appeal to the collectors of "curious literature" than the Ecclesiazusae or the Thesmophoriazusae. On the mere grounds of... more...