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The plays collected in this volume, written at different times in Aristophanes' forty-year career as a dramatist, all contain his 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 ASSEMBLEY 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.
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Little is known about Aristophanes' life (c. 445BC-c.386BC) but there is a portrait of him in Plato's SYMPOSIUM. He had his first comedy produced when he was 20 and wrote 40 plays in all. David Barrett has translated a number of ancient Greek texts for Penguin Classics.
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