These three plays by the great comic playwright Aristophanes (c.
446-386 BCE), the well-known Lysistrata, and the less familiar
Women at the Thesmophoria and Assemblywomen, are the earliest
surviving portrayals of contemporary women in the European literary
tradition. These plays provide a unique glimpse of women not only
in their familiar domestic roles but also in relation to household
and city, religion and government, war and peace, theater and
festival, and, of course, to men.
This freshly revised edition presents, for the first time in a
single volume, all three plays in faithful modern translations that
preserve intact Aristophanes? blunt and often obscene language,
sparkling satire, political provocation, and beguiling fantasy.
Alongside the translations are ample introductions and notes
covering the politically engaged genre of Aristophanic comedy in
general and issues of sex and gender in particular, which have been
fully updated since the first edition in light of recent
scholarship. An appendix contains fragments of lost plays of
Aristophanes that also featured women, and an up-to-date
bibliography provides guidance for further exploration.
In addition to their timeless humor and biting satire, the plays
are unique and invaluable documents in the history of western
sexuality and gender, and they offer strikingly prescient
speculations about the social and political future of the female
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