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Lysistrata: A New Verse Translation
by Aristophanes
translated by David Mulroy
University of Wisconsin Press, 2020
Paper: 978-0-299-32984-6 | eISBN: 978-0-299-32988-4
Library of Congress Classification PA3877.L8 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 882.01

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
Aristophanes, a native Athenian and the leading exponent of Greek comedy, was born c. 450 BCE. Today forty-three of his plays are known by title; eleven survive. The most famous of these is the whimsical fantasy Lysistrata.

A perennial classroom and stage favorite as well as the basis of Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq, the play is as relevant today as it was 2,500 years ago. The premise is simplicity itself: to end the Peloponnesian War, women decide to withhold sex from their husbands until the fighting stops.

The play is by turns raucous, bawdy, frantic, and funny. David Mulroy’s exciting new translation retains the original’s verse format, racy jokes, and vibrancy—setting it apart from previous efforts, which are typically reproduced as prose or depart from meaning and meter. His introduction offers a concise summary of Aristophanes’ life and social milieu, including a brief overview of the Peloponnesian War, which took place during the playwright’s lifetime. The appendices include guides on translating meter and Greek pronunciation for aspiring thespians.
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