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The Frogs

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  5,517 ratings  ·  205 reviews
The Frogs (Ancient Greek: Βάτραχοι, Bátrachoi) is a comedy written by the Greek playwright Aristophanes. It was performed at the Lenaia, one of the Festivals of Dionysus in Athens, in 405 BC, receiving first place.
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  5,517 ratings  ·  205 reviews


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Praj
Oct 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: phanes


High thoughts must have high language.

Language is the supreme wordplay through which thoughts are communicable. Words can either impart worldly acumen or indulge in pompous buffoonery. The revered wordsmiths, the possessors of this dexterous artistry are no less than sly magicians removing implausible beliefs from their audiences like a mere pigeons from a hat. Actions may speak louder than words; nevertheless it is the medley of words that script that action. The written world and its residen
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Lynne King
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites-own, plays
Brekekekex koax koax – now what’s that? It’s a chorus of frogs, of course.

Well it wasn’t until I heard “Frogs” mentioned on Goodreads a few months ago that I thought, well from the comments made this play is really worth reading. I accordingly purchased it, and the book re-surfaced last night. Why did it re-surface? In fact I had forgotten all about it; the trigger being my neighbor Michèle who was telling me how noisy the tree frogs are at the moment.

I must confess my ignorance in that I’ve nev
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Ahmad Sharabiani
Βάτραχοι = Bátrachoi = The Frogs, Aristophanes
The Frogs is a comedy written by the Greek playwright Aristophanes. It was performed at the Lenaia, one of the Festivals of Dionysus in Athens, in 405 BC, receiving first place. The Frogs tells the story of the god Dionysus, who, despairing of the state of Athens tragedians, travels to Hades (the underworld), to bring the playwright Euripides back from the dead. (Euripides had died the year before, in 406 BC.) He brings along his slave Xanthias, who
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Anthony
Aug 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greek-literature
i think i would make more responsible decisions if i had a chorus of frogs with me at all times
David Sarkies
Jun 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like ancient comedy
Recommended to David by: My University
Shelves: comedy
A satirical look at what makes a classic
16 June 2012

Before I start this commentary I must make reference to the translation that I am using, namely the 1987 David Barrett translation published by Penguin Classics. The reason that I am sourcing this book is because while the original text is not subject to copyright, the modern translation is. Even though I do have access to the original text (actually, I just checked my collection of Aristophanes plays in the original Greek and the Frogs is not
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Amy
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Amusing, but I did not enjoy it quite as much as Clouds. It is a bit like a celebrity memoir...I vaguely know of the people and places spoken of, but not really well enough to feel like I totally grasp what's going on. Still, as long as you possess a general idea of the key players in Greek mythology, you should be able to follow well enough! (At least, I did!)
Inkspill
In reading classics, I discovered that comedy once had a different meaning, to have a happy ending. I’d already read Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, subtitled a comedy in four acts, which turned out to be a light comedy and could easily be performed as a drama with little laughs. But I wanted to read something older to get a sense of what comedy first meant, that’s why I read - Frogs by Aristophanes, dated about 400 BCE. I wasn’t sure what I was going to find, it turned out to be a satire of two p ...more
Steve
Read in the Bollingen Poetry Translation Prize winning version of Richmond Lattimore
JK
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An interesting play, which would have been made more interesting had I sufficient knowledge of the characters from Greek mythology whom Aristophanes was casting in this calamitous journey to Hades.

The comical slapstick was jovial enough, the dialogue and references to the audience surreal. I just wasn’t as engaged as I should be, and I can confidently justify that with my ignorance of background and references.

Another addition to the Little Black Classics range which I couldn’t fully enjoy simpl
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Sarah
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Frogs is another of Aristophanes' plays that is just top-notch for me as a Greek drama and as a general comedy- the plotline is just hilarious to behold, especially if the reader has understanding of the inside jokes like I did.

I read a post somewhere on Tumblr that described the plot of this play as follows: "Aeschylus and Euripides have a rap battle in the underworld while Dionysus croaks with a chorus of frogs". And I'd say that that's essentially it. I know that Aristophanes is known to
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Alex
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though the play is called The Frogs, they only appear in one scene, and make quite a fuss, but still. Maybe the play should've been called Euripides vs Aeschylus. The main characters however are Dionysus (yes, the Dionysus) and his slave, Xanthias. Dionysus wants to bring back Euripides from the dead and after asking Hercules, a known sojourner to the underworld, how to get there, Dionysus and Xanthias set off on their quest. 

I laughed several times throughout this and I have to give credit
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Brent
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, kindle, plays
In reading a two-thousand year old satire of specific Greek poets, it might help to be familiar with the two poets, Greek culture, or even poetry in general.

Or you can just plunge in on the recommendation of other humorists, claiming that his guy still has the goods two Millennia after his prime.

I chose option two. And as such, most of the subtleties were wasted on me and I totally didn't get the ending. But the bit about the passive-aggressive servant is timeless and is still in use, in one f
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Maud
Mar 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stand-alone
Fine, but nothing special. You might enjoy this more if you know Aeschylus and Euripides and their works.
Book Wyrm
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dionysia
Dionysus the God decides all the good talent is dead and the world lacks the required theatrical artistry to sing his praises. Rather than send out some Muses or put down the wine skin long enough to just write something himself, he travels to the underworld to retrieve his favourite deceased playwright, Euripides.
If The Plutus was about wealth inequality/utopianism and The Lysistrata was about feminism/anti-war, than The Frogs is a discussion on literary criticism, and considering this play d
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Realini
The Frogs by Aristophanes
Ancient Greek: Βάτραχοι, Bátrachoi

Batrachoi- to me the name in Ancient Greek sounds very funny. So is the play, although it seems to have some serious goals: criticism of some writers.
There is a light, pleasant mood in the Batrachoi, or so I perceived it. I have listened to a romanian version of the play, adapted for radio. My reading plan includes some of the more famous works, broadcasted by the National radio, sometimes the Cultural section.
Years ago, I guess about tw
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Lyanna Choi
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
Okay, when I first saw Frogs on my set-text list, I thought the title was a metaphor or something symbolic of Athenian democracy, but I never actually expected literal hell frogs.

Midway through the play and bored out of my mind in Chemistry, I realised something — the potential memes are endless:

- The dead will rise out of their coffins to carry your luggage to Hades for only two drachmas!
- Dancing girls dig that lionskin
- Brekekeke(xit) ko-ax ko-ax
- Landladies in Hades
- (x) lost his bottle of
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Briana Grenert
Aug 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aristophanes lived a long time ago. His way of viewing the world was completely different from my paradigm of life.
So, it follows, that his comedy would be diffrent.
But no.
Oh, humans.
It was very, very, funny. I loved that I actually understood a lot of the "inside jokes" - things I would not have understood if I didn't read so much about Ancient Greece.
Paul Christensen
Aeschylus and Euripides
Here argue somewhat bitterly
Over the merits of their respective work.

It’s hard to read this critically
(Even non-politically)
Without concluding Euripides is a jerk.
Patrick Hadley
Jul 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: gay war vets and ayone with a sense of humor
Simply the greatest play ever written. It is a hilarious onion of infinite leaf. Stanford's edition is a little dated in some regards, but it takes a necessary middle path through the various controversies of the texts and its various possible interpretations.
Lemar
Jul 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, ancient-lit
As funny today as it must have been 2,500 years ago when it had them rolling in the aisles in Athens.
Marijke
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Funny how jokes from 405 BC can still make people laugh in this age.
Perry Whitford
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A long, long, long time before comedian Peter Cook flaunted a culture of deference and respect by insulting a Prime Minister to his face in front of a live audience, the ancient Greeks were doing it with olive knobs on.

Written and performed in 405BC, The Frogs dares to stick it not just to the great and good of Athenian society, but even to the gods themselves. Dionysus himself, god of revels and patron of drama, is mercilessly satirized at his own festival by Aristophanes.

Dionysus, in the comp
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Brian Schiebout
May 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Frogs is a Greek comedy play which was written by Aristophanes. My copy was translated by Benjamin Rodgers. This play was first performed in 405 BC four months after Euripides died and two months past the death date of Sophocles. The play begins with a dialogue between Dionysius, the god at whose festival plays were performed in Athens and his servant Xanthias of how they must rescue a quality tragic playwright from Hades to give Athens the cultural power it needs to reestablish its greatnes ...more
Jeff
Mar 01, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
Enjoyable tale of Bacchus' descent into Hades to retrieve a poet to revive the theater and his trial between Euripides and Aeschylus to decide whom to bring back. Of critical import is paying attention to the historical notes and the allusions to the writings of Aeschylus, Euripides and other Greek authors wherein most of the humor lies. I wondered if such a story could be modernized - hearing Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Edgar Allen Poe critiqueing each others' poetry would be my choice for h ...more
Ellee
Reading this via Daily Lit didn't quite do it justice. Even then it was pretty funny. I'd LOVE to see this performed. The basic summary is that Dionysus goes to the Underworld to retrieve Euripedes so that the god can be entertained on earth. This leads to hi-jinx and a contest between Euripedes and Aeschylos to see which one is the best playwright (tragedy). I highly recommend it to everyone (there are elements that are funny even if you're unfamiliar with Greek drama & mythology), but it's ...more
Moonglum
Aug 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
Brekekekex koax koax!

There were a number of references to ancient greek poets, myths and culture in this play which, had I groked them, would no doubt have increased my appreciation of it. None the less, it was quite funny, and with an appreciation of P.G. Wodehouse, a person can totally dig Xanthias and Dionysus as Jeeves and Whooster.

One part I especially enjoyed was Hercules's helpful directions into the underworld.

I read this play because an Empusa made an appearance in my Wednesday D&
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Matthew Dambro
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truly magnificent satire of Aeschylus and Euripides by the comic playwright Aristophanes. The wordplay is superb and the comedy is genuine. It is tribute to the populace of Athens, that during the war with Sparta, they could understand and laugh at such a scholarly work. It also attests to the liberality of the government of Athens to allow such a seditious work to be performed. For the record the translation used is the one by Moses Hadas in "Greek Drama".
Lina
I don't know why, I really don't, but for some reason this makes me imagine a Hades where the dead poets society of that time doesn't stop singing:

"But I don't feel like dancin'
When the old Joanna plays
My heart could take a chance
But my two feet can't find a way
You'd think that I could muster up a little soft-shoe gentle sway
But I don’t feel like dancin’
No sir, no dancin’ today."


And so on. And so fucking on.

Actually, I want to see this performed. Right now!
Melissa Powers
Feb 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Is the reason the average rating is so low because of the translation? I don't know. All I know is that the translation I read was hysterical, and it may or may not be this one.

Brilliance; as expected from Aristophanes.
Leslie
While parts of this play were opaque to me (I assume references to other classical Greek plays that I have not read), other sections were quite amusing. I particularly enjoyed the fight between Aeschylus and Euripides for the position of best (dead) writer of tragedy!
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409 followers
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
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“better not bring up a lion inside your city,
But if you must, then humour all his moods.”
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“Numai moartea nu cere daruri dintre zei.” 1 likes
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