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The Wasps

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  251 ratings  ·  17 reviews
This Comedy, which was produced by its author the year after the performance of 'The Clouds, ' may be taken as in some sort a companion picture to that piece. Here the satire is directed against the passion of the Athenians for the excitement of the law-courts, as in the former its object was the new philosophy. And as the younger generation-the modern school of thought-we ...more
Paperback, 92 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by (first published -422)
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Okay, I'm not quite sure what Aristophanes was on when he wrote this play. Aside from having a typical satirical tone, The Wasps has some very odd qualities to it, including men arguing with wasps and dancers dressing up as crabs. Maybe it's because the opening of the play shows two completely wasted servants- perhaps the play is a bit "drunk" itself. Nevertheless, I enjoy the weirdness of this play, and honestly am not surprised that it turned out this way.

Once again, Aristophanes attacks loca
Not as good as Racine's revision (Les Plaideurs). Much simpler in plot than the Racine, but much less simple in dialogue.

The Plot: The Wasps can be divided into 2 parts; it is something like two different one-act plays stapled together. The first part details Bdelycleon ("enemy of Cleon," the democrat demagogue)'s attempts to keep his insane father Philocleon ("friend of Cleon") locked in his house, and his attempts to cure him of his obsession with courts. Philocleon is a professional juror or
Still has quite a lot of relevance nowadays; were it not for the names, the customs and the public offices uniique to 5th century BC Athens, one could feel this work to be in any setting "closer to home". It themes are profound, its everpresent, underlying critique of the powers-that-were on Athens at that time masqueraded as a somehow grotesque satire. If one can get past the names, the forms of speech and the solemnity of the characters, one sees deep, desperate humans, each vying for somethin ...more
David Sarkies
Sep 16, 2014 David Sarkies rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People interested in Classical Greek culture
Recommended to David by: David Hester
Shelves: comedy
Very much a reflecting of our own society
13 June 2012

This ancient Athenian play is about something that is quite close to our heart even today:the generation gap. I remember reading a play in High School English called One Day of the Year which is also about the generation gap, though in this play the conflict is over the appropriate way to celebrate Anzac Day (a holiday which celebrates our fallen war heroes for all you non-Australians out there). I will not go into any further detail on this
Brian Schiebout
The Wasps is a comedy written by the Greek playwright Aristophanes and translated into English by Benjamin Rogers. The Wasps like most of Aristophanes's work finds its humor by showing the ridiculousness of leading Athenian politicians of the 5th century BC. This particular play focuses on the relationship between the dicasts who formed the judicial community of Athens and the demagogues who were its chief politicians. The story begins at the home of Philocleon, a dicast who has been held captiv ...more
One of my favourite ancient plays, the wasps plays on the social standing of the elderly within the ancient Greek polis, and is portrayed through the reversal of roles between father and son. Aristophanes manages to take a serious subject such as juries and the assembly of Ancient Greece, and turn it into an old man pretending to be smoke whilst climbing out of a chimney. Amazing.
Kent Winward
Early Greek legal drama at its funniest. The play works best if you cut it off after the conclusion of the trial of Labes, the house dog, but you can keep reading for 2500 year old smut and fart humor.

I need to go find the Racine play that also tries the household dog, ala Aristophanes.
Swapping of roles is always humorous. Acts were more consistently entertaining than Frogs. Procleon is a likeable and crude fellow. Hard to imagine play properly performed with no point of comparison.
Rob Roy
Aside from humor that does not tarnish with age, this play is an interesting insight into the life of 5th century BC Athens
A wonderful work of the Old Comedy, bawdy, full of pointed criticism of Democracy, hilarious and edifying.
Jose F.
Quizá no sea la mejor introducción a la comedia de Aristófanes... mejor Lisístrata.
It's supposed to be a comedy, but it doesn't have any fun bits. Awkward.
Not bad, wouldn't have read it if it wasn't for school, though
Adam K.
ditto my review of The Birds.
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Aristophanes (Greek: Αριστοφάνης; c. 446 BCE – c. 386 BCE) was a playwright of ancient Athens.
About 11 of his works are known in full, and they are the only plays of the "Old Comedy" style to have survived. They are The Acharnians, The Birds, The Clouds, The Ecclesiazusae, The Frogs, The Knights, Peace, Plutus (wealth), The Thesmophoriazusae, and The Wasps. These plays have been translated into m
More about Aristophanes...
Lysistrata Four Plays: The Clouds/The Birds/Lysistrata/The Frogs Clouds Lysistrata and Other Plays Frogs

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