Three plays by the comedian of Ancient Greece 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. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Aristophanes (c.448-c.385 BC), a contemporary of Socrates, was the last and greatest of the Old Attic comedians. He wrote at least 40 plays, of which 11 survived through the Middle Ages to be read and performed today. Alan Sommerstein is Head of Classics Department at Nottingham. He has translated many of Aristophanes' plays and is the author of Greek Drama & Dramatists (2002)