- Release: 2012-09-14
- Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
- Price: FREE
- File: PDF, 352 page
- ISBN: 9780806185149
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 Many English translations of the plays were written decades ago, and in their outdated language they fail to capture the dramatic liveliness of the original comedies.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.