'Th Knights'; 'Peace'; 'The Birds'; 'The Assembly Women'; 'Wealth'.
'Oh wings are splendid things, make no mistake:
they really help you rise in the world.'
These plays, written over forty years, contain Aristophanes' trademark bawdy comedy and dazzling verbal agility.
In 'The Birds', two frustrated Athenians join with the birds to build the utopian city of "Much Cuckoo in the Clouds". 'The Knights' is a venomous satire on Cleon, the prominent Athenian demagogue, while 'The Assembly Women' considers the war of the sexes, as the women of Athens infiltrate the all-male Assembly in disguise.
The lengthy conflict with Sparta is the subject of 'Peace', inspired by the hope of a settlement in 421 BC, and 'Wealth' reflects the economic catastrophe that hit Athens after the war, as the god of riches is depicted as a ragged, blind old man.
The lively translations by David Barrett and Alan H Sommerstein capture the full humour of the plays. The introduction examines Aristophanes' life and times, and the comedy and poetry of his works. This volume also includes an introductory note for each play.