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.
I’ll turn my back and leave them to it. MEAN MAN: Leave them to sell your things? NEIGHBOR: Damn you, man . . . scatter! MEAN MAN: And if I do scatter? NEIGHBOR: It would be a blessing. MEAN MAN: Are you sure you want to surrender everything? NEIGHBOR: I am. And I see that that’s exactly what my neighbors are doing. MEAN MAN: Of course, someone like Antisthenes—he’d add his bit,920 though a month of enemas would do him more good. NEIGHBOR: Oh, come off it! MEAN MAN: And Callimachus the
hope these sips in the end will make you sick, For only then can I sing ad lib: “On this auspicious occasion Drink like stink!” LEADER: And I expect Ulius,‡ that old hearty auctioneer of grain would whip up a crazy bacchic paean. PAPHLAGON: So help me, Poseidon! You’re not trying to outdo me in degradation, are you? Or I’ll never again go to Zeus-of-the-marketplace’s party. SAUSAGEMAN: From all the slashes and whacks I’ve had, time without number, since I was a lad, I think that
SAUSAGEMAN: No, just borrowing some of yours, as one might a pair of slippers at a party to go rushing to the jakes to shit. PAPHLAGON: There’s no one better at buttering up than I am, smarty. [He takes off his coat and tries to force it on DEMOS.] DEMOS: What a stink of ox hide, yuk! Piss off! SAUSAGEMAN: He put it on you just to stifle you, as once he tried before when that asafetida stuff154 was going cheap—remember? DEMOS: Of course, I do. SAUSAGEMAN: He rigged the
[emerging from the Thinkpot and eyeing PHIDIPPIDES up and down] But he’s still a baby! He’ll have no idea what gives here. PHIDIPPIDES: Go, give yourself a rope and get hanged. STREPSIADES: Blast you! How dare you swear at your instructor! SOCRATES: Did you notice the babyish way he said “wope” and the loose little move he made with his lips? How can such a one be a good defendant in any court, or ever win a case, or effectively talk? Of course, Hyperbolus did, but at a cost.
the BEETLE with a riding crop held aloft, he addresses the audience.] As for the rest of you for whom I’m doing this thing, you mustn’t fart or shit for at least three days. I don’t want the beetle on the wing picking up the pong, or he’ll toss me headlong and go swooping down to graze. So giddyup, Pegasus, sprightly and on With your tinkle of golden bridle and bit386 And both your ears so pertly pricked. [He whips up the BEETLE and begins to ascend, as his daughters and servants