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Aristophanes, Ornithes

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I komodia afti apoteli satira tis politikis kai kinonikis diaphthoras kai skomma enantion ton theorion yia kainouryia politevmata. O mithos pleketai yiro apo dio Athinaious polites pou pane sta poulia yia na idrisoun eki mia nea politia.


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I komodia afti apoteli satira tis politikis kai kinonikis diaphthoras kai skomma enantion ton theorion yia kainouryia politevmata. O mithos pleketai yiro apo dio Athinaious polites pou pane sta poulia yia na idrisoun eki mia nea politia.

30 review for Aristophanes, Ornithes

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Όρνιθες = The Birds: a comedy, Aristophanes Characters: Pisthetairos, Euelpides, Hoopoe Aristophanes (Born: 445 BC, Classical Athens, Died: 385 BC, Delphi, Greece, Books: Frogs and Other Plays, Birds and Other Plays, more), son of Philippus, of the deme Kydathenaion, was a comic playwright of ancient Athens. Eleven of his forty plays survive virtually complete. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز دوازده نوامبر سال 2011 میلادی عنوان: پرندگان (مجموعه کمدیهای آریستوفان)؛ نویسنده: آریستوفان؛ مترجم: رضا شیرمرز؛ تهر Όρνιθες = The Birds: a comedy, Aristophanes Characters: Pisthetairos, Euelpides, Hoopoe Aristophanes (Born: 445 BC, Classical Athens, Died: 385 BC, Delphi, Greece, Books: Frogs and Other Plays, Birds and Other Plays, more), son of Philippus, of the deme Kydathenaion, was a comic playwright of ancient Athens. Eleven of his forty plays survive virtually complete. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز دوازده نوامبر سال 2011 میلادی عنوان: پرندگان (مجموعه کمدیهای آریستوفان)؛ نویسنده: آریستوفان؛ مترجم: رضا شیرمرز؛ تهران، قطره، 1388؛ در 112 ص؛ شابک: 9789643419400؛ چاپ دوم 1392؛ چاپ سوم 1393؛ موضوع: نمایشنامه های نویسندگان یونانی - سده 5 پیش از میلاد عنوان: کمدی پرندگان؛ نویسنده: آریستوفان؛ مترجم: عطاالله کوپال؛ تهران، نیلا، 1378؛ در 110 ص؛ شابک: 9646900046؛ آریستوفان در سال 445 پیش از میلاد به دنیا آمدند. پدر ایشان فیلیپوس نام داشت، و در آئیگینا می‌زیسته‌ است. تولد و دوران جوانی او، همزمان با اوج قدرت «پریکلس»، پایه‌ گذار دموکراسی آتن بود. در این باره، که «آریستوفان»، اصالتاً آتنی بوده باشد، تردید وجود دارد، و شاید همین امر سبب گردید، تا مدتی نتواند کمدی‌ هایش را، با نام حقیقی خود به نمایش بگذارد. آریستوفان پسری به نام «آراروس» داشت، که بعدها شغل پدر را دنبال کرد، و دو نمایشنامهٔ آخر «آریستوفان» را او به نمایش گذاشت. سال درگذشت آریستوفان را سال 385 پیش از میلاد، یاد کرده‌ اند. از مجموع آثار ایشان که بیش و کم 44 نمایشنامه بوده، دوازده کمدی کامل، و قطعاتی پراکنده به دست آمده‌ است. این آثار عبارتند از: آشارنی‌ها (425 پ. م)، قهرمانان یا نجیب‌ زاده‌ها (424 پ. م)، کمدی صلح (421 پ. م)، ابرها (423 پ. م)، پرندگان (414 پ. م)، لیستراتا (411 پ. م)، قورباغه‌ها (405 پ. م)، زنبورها (422 پ. م)، مجمع زنان (392 پ. م) تسموفوریازوس (410 پ. م)، آکلزوسیازس (391 پ. م) و پلوتوس (388 پ. م).؛ نمایشنامه ی پرندگان را؛ آریستوفان کمدی‌ نویس مشهور یونان، با نگرشی انتقادی درباره ی حکومتگران آتن، بنوشته است. در این نمایش‌نامه، دو شهروند آتنی، که از جنگ‌های طاقت‌ فرسای آتن با اسپارت، خسته شده‌ اند، برای بناکردن شهری آرمانی، به سرزمین پرندگان آمده‌ اند، تا آنها را به جای زئوس و دیگر ایزدان یونانی، بر مسند قدرت بنشانند. آریستوفان این اثر را با استفاده از اندیشه ی پرواز در اساطیر یونانی، به نمایش می‌گذارد. و ...؛ ا. شربیانی

  2. 5 out of 5

    Luís C.

    The Sicily Expedition has just ended with the catastrophe which is known: ships arrested or destroyed, Greeks imprisoned in terrible Latomies, a prison over open skies, dead strategists.. In fact, the beautiful Alcibiades, compromised in a scandal of profanation of statues, had to flee Athenes in all haste.. But not to flee anywhere: at the enemies, in Sparta.. he has kindly been bring back his fellow friends, on the way to Sicily under the guidance of Nicias.. Needless to say if the reception of The Sicily Expedition has just ended with the catastrophe which is known: ships arrested or destroyed, Greeks imprisoned in terrible Latomies, a prison over open skies, dead strategists.. In fact, the beautiful Alcibiades, compromised in a scandal of profanation of statues, had to flee Athenes in all haste.. But not to flee anywhere: at the enemies, in Sparta.. he has kindly been bring back his fellow friends, on the way to Sicily under the guidance of Nicias.. Needless to say if the reception of Nicias by the Lacedemonians was warm.. It is in this terrible context that this old sympathetic reaction of Aristophanes, a great founder of deliquescent democracy, writes Birds. I'll let you discover how it'll ends. If the translation is good, you will laugh out loud, and if you're a bit fond of Greek History and Culture, you will be honestly satisfied.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Praj

    Nephelococcygia, a metropolis in air, Zeus' cloudy nightmare, Unlikely a bedroom scare From a sparrow’s wild rare. A respite between heaven and earth, “An avian heaven”, says Pisthetaerus, Flirting with the nightingale’s mirth Hoopoe consents ; what a fucking putz! Sacred chants float over the lustral waters, The birds join the jubilant choir, The peacock dancing in a tutu simply backfires, It’s not an ass-whooping Le Ballet Noir! The pelican, the spoon-bill, the horned-owl, the teal, the stormy petrel and Nephelococcygia, a metropolis in air, Zeus' cloudy nightmare, Unlikely a bedroom scare From a sparrow’s wild rare. A respite between heaven and earth, “An avian heaven”, says Pisthetaerus, Flirting with the nightingale’s mirth Hoopoe consents ; what a fucking putz! Sacred chants float over the lustral waters, The birds join the jubilant choir, The peacock dancing in a tutu simply backfires, It’s not an ass-whooping Le Ballet Noir! The pelican, the spoon-bill, the horned-owl, the teal, the stormy petrel and the titmouse, Solemnized the laws of the land, Harboring the Olympians grouse, I rather be chained and canned. Messiah to Bitch Dependency, “Birds over bitches!” proclaims a pimp called Slickback, Pleading for wings is a bitch tendency, Cloud-cuckoo town- a two-cent hustler. Rainbows descent on womanly divinity, “That’s a bitch!” , yelps Slickback, Iris, messenger of Gods, heart of Zeus’ affinity, “That bitch’s gonna fuck y’all". Perching on twigs, the birds laud the forgotten heroes, A choral interlude, a cry for pigeons, Howl the pigeons preening their Afros, “You came to the wrong neighborhood, motherfucking wigeons!” A cry of an amateur, Verses may not rationally click Least an award clincher, I care a fuck ; I just blasted a stick!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Phoenix2

    A classic comedy that makes you think, without being too tiring to read or too heavy on the message that it wants to get through.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Paul Christensen

    I liked this - a strange and nebulous atmosphere As two buffoon-clowns organise a biosphere, An Avian Kingdom high up in the stratosphere. Apparently this parodies the Sicilian sphere; I couldn’t see that myself, but if it’s true I fear That it proved to be prophetic in the coming year. For the war was lost for Athens in that fateful year, And the sharp decline of Hellas became über-clear.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    Masterful translation of a witty play. I'm not sure of the meaning of the play, but I can see where elements of low humor today were birthed in ancient times. I appreciated the translator's notes and glossary. They explained many obscure [to us] references--cultural and topical in Aristophanes' day. I read this to compare it with Braunfels' treatment of the story in his opera "Die Vögel" based on the same play.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Gini

    Skip this comedy and read Lysistrata instead would be my last word for it. This one gets 2 thumbs down.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I read the George Theodoridis translation available here: http://www.poetryintranslation.com/PI... The only drawback to reading this version is that there are no annotations. It's a pretty accessible translation, so I understood most of it anyway, but I'd like to read an annotated version eventually, to see what I might have missed. My favorite Aristophanes is still Lysistrata (I think I read the Lattimore translation) but this was fascinating. It's less explicitly political than Lysistrata, but I read the George Theodoridis translation available here: http://www.poetryintranslation.com/PI... The only drawback to reading this version is that there are no annotations. It's a pretty accessible translation, so I understood most of it anyway, but I'd like to read an annotated version eventually, to see what I might have missed. My favorite Aristophanes is still Lysistrata (I think I read the Lattimore translation) but this was fascinating. It's less explicitly political than Lysistrata, but very whimsical and imaginative. When I read Reason and Persuasion: Three Dialogues By Plato: Euthyphro, Meno, Republic Book I earlier this year, the author had a great description of this play (in connection with the "ring of Gyges" story in Plato's Republic): "A pair of idiots find themselves in the country of birds, where, to save their skins, they end up feathered and winged, organizing the birds into a political power. They start a bird-centric religion. The newly self-confident birds build a mighty fortress, Cloud Cuckooland, between the human world and Olympus... the gifts humans give the gods -- vaguely conceived of as aromas rising up out of the fires -- are embargoed. A deputation of Olympians (and one Thracian god, who can't speak Greek, or get his clothes on straight) come to Cuckooland on a diplomatic mission. They need this stuff they are used to getting from mortals on a regular basis!... Also, when the humans-turned-birds find their new condition convenient, they reflect on why this is so. If you have powers no ordinary mortals do -- in this case, flight -- they can't touch you. Obviously you will get up to all sorts of unethical stuff, if there is no threat of punishment..."

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    "PEISTHETAERUS: The Air's betwixt the Earth and the Sky. And just as we, if we go to Pytho, Must crave a grant of passage from the Boeotia, Even so, when men slay victims to the Gods, Unless the Gods pay tribute, ye in turn Will grant no passage for the savoury steam To rise through Chaos, and a realm not theirs." The Birds is another one of my all-time favorites from Aristophanes, ranking amongst plays such as The Clouds and The Frogs- it simply is an imaginative work of art to behold compared to the "PEISTHETAERUS: The Air's betwixt the Earth and the Sky. And just as we, if we go to Pytho, Must crave a grant of passage from the Boeotia, Even so, when men slay victims to the Gods, Unless the Gods pay tribute, ye in turn Will grant no passage for the savoury steam To rise through Chaos, and a realm not theirs." The Birds is another one of my all-time favorites from Aristophanes, ranking amongst plays such as The Clouds and The Frogs- it simply is an imaginative work of art to behold compared to the more "blah" plays that come from this playwright. I can definitely understand why this one is a well-known play amongst the Greek dramas. In this play, two men encounter a community of birds and decide that they want to make a man-bird city between the sky and the earth, mainly so that they can provide more civilized representation for the birds. While this sounds like a ludicrous idea, Aristophanes pulls it off very well while providing his usual sense of wit. Additonally, I also learned much about the significance of birds in Greek society in relation to the gods- I'd call that pretty important. I honestly can't say that I've read a play with such a far-out plot, but I think it's safe to say that Aristophanes was a very... imaginative person. The Birds simply is a top-notch represenation of this creative threshold and one that I would definitely categorize as an essential Greek comedy.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Adam Nelson

    I read William Arrowsmith's translation of this, and I enjoyed it more than I would have thought. I found myself drifting, as I often do with classical works that don't translate well into modern English, but Arrowsmith did a splendid job not only of translating it but also explaining his reasons for translating, giving very interesting insight into the process that I haven't had before. I had always thought that language translation was literal and word-for-word, requiring the translator basica I read William Arrowsmith's translation of this, and I enjoyed it more than I would have thought. I found myself drifting, as I often do with classical works that don't translate well into modern English, but Arrowsmith did a splendid job not only of translating it but also explaining his reasons for translating, giving very interesting insight into the process that I haven't had before. I had always thought that language translation was literal and word-for-word, requiring the translator basically to have a thorough knowledge of both languages and just substituting, but that's not it at all (and I should have known better). Arrowsmith has to sometimes reshape entire packages and create new wordplay to replace the old that wouldn't have translated from Greek to English, and endnotes detail each one. Were I reading this for class and actually pressuring myself to pay more attention to it, I would have found his endnotes endlessly helpful. Since I had no such accountability here, however, I must say that my constant drifting rendered them insightful, at best. I would say it's an entertaining read, and certainly not as opaque as you might fear, but as far as its relevance for me as a reader, I'm not sure.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Maggie

    "The Birds" was both witty and insightful about the nature of the Athenian dream: to live through play and not pay taxes. Though comical, it changes from a story of two men looking to escape their responsibilities, to their dream of a new world and overthrowing the gods, to the two men's domination. Ironically, much of their power was gained through a matter of others shrugging and doing their very best to avoid responsibility. I found that this play was both charmingly cheeky-- at a couple poin "The Birds" was both witty and insightful about the nature of the Athenian dream: to live through play and not pay taxes. Though comical, it changes from a story of two men looking to escape their responsibilities, to their dream of a new world and overthrowing the gods, to the two men's domination. Ironically, much of their power was gained through a matter of others shrugging and doing their very best to avoid responsibility. I found that this play was both charmingly cheeky-- at a couple points faux-threatening the crowd to vote for the play in the competition it had been entered in-- and interesting for its complex view of human beings.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ivy-Mabel Fling

    Like most of Aristophanes' plays this is extremely odd - but quite amusing. I would recommend reading up on it before attempting the text!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rob Roy

    A bird city is built between men and the gods, and thereby everyone, man and god alike are humbled.

  14. 4 out of 5

    محمد عبادة

    My first experience with classical Greek comedy. A colorful lesson in many elements of theater, namely the use of chorus in Aristophanes' parabasis & how to satirize your society to the extent of crushing its religious idols.. Well there was definitely sacrilege in it and it sounds thought provocative even today. Aristophanes was really post modern.. One has to contemplate how the chorus was addressing the judges of the show.. A great experience it was.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Pyjov

    If you get a good translation, The Funniest book in the world!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ayşe Ecer

    Well, that was interesting...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Basilius

    Now let the Golden Age of Birds begin by lovely marriage ushered in. I wish this wasn't the first play by Aristophanes I reviewed; Lysistrata is a far more enjoyable and representative work, and displays the comic at his moral zenith. The Clouds is his best satire, and was influential in getting Socrates killed. I would only recommend the play under review if you're ready to chew on something a bit more...well, ambiguous. While many scholars see The Birds as fun escapism, I'm part of the crowd tha Now let the Golden Age of Birds begin by lovely marriage ushered in. I wish this wasn't the first play by Aristophanes I reviewed; Lysistrata is a far more enjoyable and representative work, and displays the comic at his moral zenith. The Clouds is his best satire, and was influential in getting Socrates killed. I would only recommend the play under review if you're ready to chew on something a bit more...well, ambiguous. While many scholars see The Birds as fun escapism, I'm part of the crowd that views it as desolating. Comedy at its most bleak and serious. Two Athenians, Eulpides (Goodhope) and Pisthetaerus (Trustyfriend), leave Athens because they're tired of all the nonsense of the city: it's laws, it's wars, it's politicians, it's "philosophy." They want to go out and live in the wild as carefree birds. They discover an avian community and manage to integrate. The conflict begins when Pisthetaerus realizes the great latent potential of the birds. He convinces the myriad of species that they could not only take over the Earth, but also the gods themselves by interfering with human sacrifice, which relies on the sky as its plane of transport. The birds agree and starve the gods, which denies humans divine support. Pisthetaerus wins concessions from both sides, and establishes the birds at the top of a new universe-order, with himself at the helm. The play is primarily a set-piece for satire: many great Athenians are depicted and ridiculed, and the bird mythos allows for a lot of thematic puns and jokes. For this reason The Birds is usually written off as fantastic escapism, and while funny, isn't required reading if viewed under that lens (comedy is often rigorously era-specific). I offer a different view of the play. For me, the work reads a lot like dark comedy opposing the absurd evil of imperialism. (A close cousin would be Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove.) For Aristophanes, the atrocity of the Peloponnesian War is less significant than if the Athenians actually win, and take over everything. But it goes beyond that. The very human desire to exert total control over others seems implicit in our species, and it's something we have to identify as morally and intellectually insane. This is not a new idea. But I enjoy Aristophanes handling of it, where the crowd is laughing and smiling the entire time, delighting at the gags and wit, only to find themselves stopped cold when the story culminates in a successful cosmic empire, led by idiots, and run by birds. This is the Athenian dream. No, this is mankind's dream, embedded in our culture, our gods, and our nature. Life is indeed a joke, but it's not quite as funny as we thought.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lia

    This is one of those texts that could be laborious to read if you lack background knowledge about Aristophanes and his milieu. Obviously, on the surface, it's a silly comedy full of vulgar sexual innuendos and absurd dialogues. It's short enough that you could enjoy the play just based on these dirty jokes, but I don't think that would get you very far (or I just don't have a sense of humor.) The missing star means I don't know enough to fully engage the text critically. I'm hoping to learn enou This is one of those texts that could be laborious to read if you lack background knowledge about Aristophanes and his milieu. Obviously, on the surface, it's a silly comedy full of vulgar sexual innuendos and absurd dialogues. It's short enough that you could enjoy the play just based on these dirty jokes, but I don't think that would get you very far (or I just don't have a sense of humor.) The missing star means I don't know enough to fully engage the text critically. I'm hoping to learn enough to finally put in the last star some day. The plot is simple: two Athenians (humans) "fed up" with Athens got talked into self-exile by "Philocrates the poulterer." Literally, Philocrates (the name) means power-lover, and his epithet basically means bird-catcher. You know where this is heading. BTW, this is contemporary to the infamous Alcibiades, a rhetorician / sophist who rekt Melos so hard, even Athenians seem to feel ashamed. So anyway, these exiles convinced all the birds to build their own utopia in the sky, since they live between men and god, up in the air, they can blockade earthly sacrifices to the gods, and browbeat the gods into submission the same way Athens sacked Melos. No, literally, they cited Melos as their model, their simile, their scheme. Aristophanes is not very subtle here. Who should show up with cheat-codes but Prometheus, lover of men, hater of gods? If you think about it, without Prometheus' gift of fire, earthly men couldn't have developed their rituals of barbecue-offerings to the gods anyways. What Prometheus giveth, Prometheus taketh away. It's not like these gods actually care about justice or virtue or anything like that -- they just want to be revered. And Prometheus rekts that. This feels ... personal. With sophistry as weapon, these exiles negotiated Zeus' surrender. The tyrant is gone! Freedom BBQ! But, wait, one tyrant down, another fills the void. Our power-loving bird-catcher roasts his "emancipated" bird-friends just as arbitrarily. There are so many allusions to political events, the talks of realpolitik seems to anticipate Plato's Republic; and the threats to institution of divine authority and piety also seems similar to Plato's Euthyphro. That is, I think the play would be a lot more interesting to me if I knew more about the dialogue Aristophanes was having with his contemporaries, the political and social commentaries he was making with the play, the moods of the intended audience, etc etc. I'll be back. Hoping the earn that last star, not for Aristophanes, he doesn't need that. I do.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Batgrl (Book Data Kept Elsewhere)

    The important thing to note about this review is that I'm reading the version of the Birds that's subtitled "A Modern Translation by William Arrowsmith." If you read a translation by someone else it's likely you'll have a different experience - but then, a lot of your enjoyment of Aristophanes will depend on the translator's own sense of humor. This is a text where it's critical to read the notes - not just for explanations but to get an idea of what Aristophanes is trying to make a joke about, b The important thing to note about this review is that I'm reading the version of the Birds that's subtitled "A Modern Translation by William Arrowsmith." If you read a translation by someone else it's likely you'll have a different experience - but then, a lot of your enjoyment of Aristophanes will depend on the translator's own sense of humor. This is a text where it's critical to read the notes - not just for explanations but to get an idea of what Aristophanes is trying to make a joke about, but also to enjoy Arrowsmith. The man writes some delightful notes. You can read the plot on wikipedia, but the short version is that two Athenians go to the birds and convince them to set up a kingdom so that the Athenians don't have to go back to Athens, where there are too many taxes and fees, and other annoyances. Here one of the characters tells the beginning of why they left, p. 19. I've added the notes from the back of the book (for this quote, p 135-136) - this is a good example of the translator giving you background and also letting you know when he's substituted words:Euelpides: ...Think of it man: here we are dying to go tell it to the Birds,* and then, by god, we can't even find the way. To the Audience. Yes, dear people, we confess we're completely mad. But it's not just like Sakas'* madness. Not a bit. For he, poor dumb foreigner, wants in, while we, born and bread Athenians both, true blue, true citizens, not afraid of any man, want out. Yes, we've spread our little feet and taken off. Not that we hate Athens - heavens, no. And not that dear old Athens isn't grand, that blessed land where men are free - to pay their taxes.* Relevant text from the Notes section: Sakas: [via note on text p. 18] "From the frequent allusions in the play to men who, technically ineligible, had somehow managed to get themselves enrolled as Athenian citizens, it's tempting to believe that proposals to revise the citizenship lists were in the air or had recently been carried out. The climax of these allusions comes in the final scene of the play, in which Posthetairos attempts to prove that Herakles is technically a bastard (and hence can not inherit Zeus' estate) since his mother was an ordinary mortal, i.e., of foreign stock. "to pay their taxes": A slight modernization of the Greek which says: "to pay fines."Euelpides goes on to give specifics about what made them leave Athens: "legal locusts" - by which he means lawyers. Here's the section in the Notes on that reference, p. 136:"because of legal locusts": Aristophanes favorite complaint against Athens, and one which the entire Wasps is devoted. But although Aristophanes here develops Athens' love of litigation as the major source of dissatisfaction, elsewhere throughout the play other grievances emerge: the restless and mischievous Athenian character (called [Greek word I can't type!]); the plague of informers; the victimization of the Allies; the ambition for power, an ambition which knows no limits and whose only goal is World Mastery ([another word in Greek]). Another point I'll toss in here (for lack of a good transition elsewhere) is that the word/concept Cloudcuckooland (that has been tossed about in pop culture in various places) comes from this play. It's the name of the new kingdom/city that one of our Athenians (Pisthetairos) convinces the birds to build in the clouds. Many times Arrowsmith will explain what specific Greek he translated, how he modernized it into a joke we'd understand, and what the original was. [I was going to add an example quote here, but ran out of time on my trip and had to leave the book with my father - because he enjoys reading Aristophanes every now and then - and now don't have it to quote. So you'll just have to believe me when I say that Arrowsmith does this more than once.] I suggest that you be sure to read the Introduction after you've read the play - not because it spoils anything but because it explains a lot, and specifically gives reasons for how Arrowsmith has chosen to translate the play. p 13, Introduction:...For fidelity's sake, this is also a poetic version. A prose Aristophanes is to my mind as much a monstrosity as a limerick in prose paraphrase. And for much the same reasons. If Aristophanes is visibly obscene, farcical, and colloquial, he is also lyrical, elegant, fantastic, and witty. And a translation which, by flattening incongruities and tensions, reduces one dimension necessarily reduces the other. Bowdlerize Aristophanes and you sublimate him into something less vital and whole; prose him and you cripple his wit, dilute his obscenity and slapstick, and weaken his classical sense of the wholeness of human life. p 71-72, for those who haven't read Aristophanes, an example of his rude/obscene/however-you-categorize-it moments (not at first, I left in the comedy build up to it):Chorus: Friends, you haven't really lived till you've tried a set of FEATHERS! Think, spectators. Imagine yourself with a pair of wings! The sheer joy of it! Not having to sit those tragedies out! No getting bored. You merely flap your little wings and fly off home. You have a snack, then make it back to catch the COMIC play. Or again, suppose your're overtaken by a sudden need to crap. Do you do it in your pants? Not a bit. You just zoom off, fart and shit to your heart's content and whizz right back. Or perhaps you're having an affair - I won't name any names. You spot the lady's husband attending some meeting or other. Up you soar, flap your wings, through the window and into bed! You make it a quickie, of course, then flutter back to your seat. So what do you say? Aren't wings the most wonderful things?This is actually pretty mild stuff (for our day and age, not the Victorians), there's plenty of more racy, phalus-oriented material elsewhere. However this speech is being spoken by a chorus of birds (actors dressed humorously as birds, that is), and a good example of the weirdness/humor in this play.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    2.5 stars. Aristophanes’ conservatism is one full display throughout this work as he rails against philosophy, mathematics, the state, poetry, and just about anyone else who doesn’t respect the old gods. This wouldn’t be so bad if the play were a little less goofy. I sometimes wonder if stuff like this would be considered classic if any other works survived on which to compare it. The only Old Comedy we have is Aristophanes, and so Aristophanes is the author of these Masterpieces. While I can ce 2.5 stars. Aristophanes’ conservatism is one full display throughout this work as he rails against philosophy, mathematics, the state, poetry, and just about anyone else who doesn’t respect the old gods. This wouldn’t be so bad if the play were a little less goofy. I sometimes wonder if stuff like this would be considered classic if any other works survived on which to compare it. The only Old Comedy we have is Aristophanes, and so Aristophanes is the author of these Masterpieces. While I can certainly understand that the reason the works survived is because they were considered classics, I refuse to accept that they were necessarily the best and/or deserve respect just because they happen to be the only works that haven't been lost. Surely the ancient world had better comedy to offer than this?

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    A popular play written by Aristophanes in the 5th century BCE, The Birds is about two men who decide to become birds in order to find some solace away from Athens. They are successful by getting all of the bird kingdom to buy into their idea of creating a massive city (Cloudcuckooland) in the sky, and not letting the gods through to the humans, and not letting the humans' offerings up to the gods. The immense strength of all of the birds are a formidable force against the gods, and they offer up A popular play written by Aristophanes in the 5th century BCE, The Birds is about two men who decide to become birds in order to find some solace away from Athens. They are successful by getting all of the bird kingdom to buy into their idea of creating a massive city (Cloudcuckooland) in the sky, and not letting the gods through to the humans, and not letting the humans' offerings up to the gods. The immense strength of all of the birds are a formidable force against the gods, and they offer up peace terms to the birds, which includes Peisthetaerus getting the hand of Hera in marriage from Zeus. This is a witty, humorous, raunchy comedy. It reminds me how much I love the ancient Greek society.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kerri F

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. . QUOTES PISTHETAERUS. Not I, by Apollo, unless they agree with me as the little ape of an armourer agreed with his wife, not to bite me, nor pull me by the testicles, nor shove things up my…. CHORUS. You mean the…. (Puts finger to bottom.) Oh! be quite at ease. PISTHETAERUS. No, I mean my eyes. EPOPS. But how will mankind recognize us as gods and not as jays? Us, who have wings and fly? PISTHETAERUS. You talk rubbish! Hermes is a god and has wings and flies, and so do many other gods.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Whiskey

    This comedy ridicules the disastrous Greek expedition to Sicily in 413 BC. More generally, The Birds is a rollicking commentary on man's eternal dissatisfaction with his lot; his habit of ignoring the divinities which shape his ends; is crowded, evil-breading cities; and his tendency to disturb the equilibrium of the universe, Pisthetaerus, with his irresistible rhetoric, is a forebear of the men who sell salvation or the world's goods with equal glibness and ease.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mont

    This comedy ridicules the disastrous Greek expedition to Sicily in 413 BC. More generally, The Birds is a rollicking commentary on man's eternal dissatisfaction with his lot; his habit of ignoring the divinities which shape his ends; is crowded, evil-breading cities; and his tendency to disturb the equilibrium of the universe, Pisthetaerus, with his irresistible rhetoric, is a forebear of the men who sell salvation or the world's goods with equal glibness and ease.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Joseph

    "Hear us, you who are no more than leaves always falling, you mortals benighted by nature, You enfeebled and powerless creatures of earth always haunting a world of mere shadows, Entities without wings, insubstantial as dreams, you ephemeral things, you human beings: Turn your minds to our words, our etherial words, for the words of the birds last forever!"

  26. 5 out of 5

    Fagshelf

    The usual style we are used to from Aristophanes. Perhaps a little more serious in tone (less scatological humour :D) with more metaphors rather than direct references to contemporary politics. An enjoyable read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Sutherland

    It's surprising to me how much of the humor actually still holds up in all of these comedies by Aristophanes. The Birds is probably my favorite of the three comedies that I have read by Aristophanes. It relies much less on crude humor than the others (Lysistrata and The Clouds).

  28. 4 out of 5

    J

    An enjoyable time filled with raucous bird calls and so forth.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Itsuka

    So adorable, yet so subversive. Aristophanes is such a bad boy :) Someone should make an IMAX out of this. Who doesn’t love furry birds?

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ulla

    I gave up this time because I could not remember the names, was always confused with who is who. Guess I have to read it in one session and make notes some day, but not too soon.

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