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Hysterical Laughter: Four Ancient Comedies about Women
Hysterical Laughter: Four Ancient Comedies About Women is the first text to uniquely employ comedy as a vehicle to explore women, gender, and sexuality in Greek and Roman antiquity. Featuring new, engaging, and accessible translations by David Christenson of four of the finest classical comedies--Lysistrata (Aristophanes), Samia (Menander), Casina (Plautus), and Hecyra ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 1st 2014 by Oxford University Press, USA
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While I can't speak to the accuracy of the translations, the treatment of Lysistrata was faithful to that play's bawdiness and humour. I hadn't previously read either Casina or Hecyra, but enjoyed them both - particularly the latter, which is an oddly tragi-comic tale with, at least to a modern reader, not a little moral ambiguity, in contrast to the mostly lighthearted and trope-centric standard of New Comedy.
Excellent general introduction followed by really useful introductions to each play. It was really interesting to be able to read a comedy from each distinct era of Classical comedy as this allowed for some fascinating cross-cultural comparison from attitudes to writing styles. The translations themselves were also exceptionally easy to read and came across as modern whilst still retaining the spirit of the original languages. My personal favourite by far was Lysistrata, owing perhaps to the ...more