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Lysistrata and Other Plays

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Penguin Classics
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  • Lysistrata and Other Plays
    Lysistrata and Other Plays


Writing at the time of political and social crisis in Athens Aristophanes was an eloquent yet bawdy challenger to the demagogue and the sophist. The Achanians is a plea for peace set against the background of the long war with Sparta. In Lysistrata a band of women tap into the awesome power of sex in order to end a war. The darker comedy of The Clouds satirizes Athenian philosophers, Socrates in particular, and reflects the uncertainties of a generation in which all traditional religious and ethical beliefs were being challenged.

Author Biography

Aristophanes (c. 447-c. 385 bc), a contemporary of Socrates, was the last and greatest of the Old Attic comedians. Eleven of his forty plays survive.

Alan H. Sommerstein is head of the classics department at Nottingham.

Table of Contents

Chronology vii
Introduction xi
Further Reading xlix
Translator's Note li
Note on the Text liv
Preface to The Acharnians
The Acharnians
Preface to The Clouds
The Clouds
Preface to Lysistrata
Notes 195

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