Aristophanes: the Complete Plays
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A brand-new translation of the world's greatest satirist.
With a signature style that is at once bawdy and delicate, as well as a fearless penchant for lampooning the rich and powerful, Aristophanes remains arguably the finest satirist of all time. Collected here are all 11 of his surviving plays-newly translated by the distinguished poet and translator Paul Roche.
we’ve still got quite a packet to get through while the stars are shining, so let’s start. Parliament is due to meet at dawn. MADAM A: Ye gods, you’re right! We’d better make sure of our seats under the Speaker’s Platform facing the Chairman. MADAM B: [producing a basket of wool] I’m jolly glad I brought my carder with me: I’ll get some wool carded while the Assembly’s coming in. PRAXAGORA: While they’re coming in? Don’t be silly. MADAM B: Not at all silly. Carding doesn’t stop my
With torch in hand and garlanded as well. The women will say as they come from dinner, “You Really ought to go along with us. We’ve got a pretty girl waiting to be done.” From a second-story window someone else Will call: “Oh, do step inside. I’ve got a lovely lass, as fair as fair. She really is my pride, But you’ll have to sleep with me before You sleep with her.” Meanwhile, among the wanking men, Out chasing every handsome lad, With catcalls like: “Where are you off to, my young
adapted from a poem of Pindar written for Hieron, ruler of Syracuse and founder of Aetna. 526 A legendary soothsayer of Boeotia. 527 The hooded crow, whose back and wings are streaked with gray. ‡ Athens and Corinth were traditional enemies. Sicyon was in the Peloponnese, once powerful and criticized for its luxurious living. 528 The “Eve” of mythology. According to Hesiod, the first mortal woman. Not the Pandora who let out evils from a box. 529 Lampon was a soothsayer; Diopithes, a
STREPSIADES: As many as you’re making your poor father go. [He turns back to the ledger.] Where was I? . . . After Pasias how much? Yes, three minas to Amynias for a chariot seat and a pair of wheels. PHIDIPPIDES: Lead him off, that horse. Give him a good roll. STREPSIADES: Yes, dear boy, it’s me you’re rolling— clean off my estate. . . . What with losing lawsuits and bailiffs clamoring for my property in lieu of interest. PHIDIPPIDES: [sitting up] Really, Father, tossing and
That’s what people like to hear and what’s been applied to me. Just because I want my father to curb his morning-haunting-courtroom-pleading and his suit-pursuing-nuisance-hunger,310 and live a gentlemanly life like Morychus,‡ I’m called a conspiratorial tyrantmonger. LOVECLEON: Quite right, too! Not for bird milk would I undo the way of life you want to alter; and as for skate and eel, I’d much rather sit down to a meal of lawsuit stew. HATECLEON: Of course you would: that’s your