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Comedy "Birds" by Aristophanes is one of the most famous works of this ancient Greek author. It is considered his most voluminous work (it contains more than one and a half thousand poems). The comedy is slightly inferior to the longest tragedy in the literature of ancient Greece - Sophocles' Oedipus at Colon. In this article, we will give a summary of the work, analyze it.
History of Creation
The comedy "The Birds" by Aristophanes was first staged in 414 BC. The author presented it on behalf of Kallistratus.
It is interesting that this work participated in the annual ancient Greek literary competitions, in which the winners were determined. The comedian failed to capture the palm. The victory went to the work of Amipsius "Feasting", the third place was taken by Phrynichus with "The Hermit". "Birds" by Aristophanes received the second prize.
In our country, this comedy was the first timetranslated and published in 1874. It was published by a Warsaw publishing house (the current Polish capital at that time was part of the Russian Empire). Translations made in the 20th century by Adrian Piotrovsky and Solomon Apt are considered classic.
A summary of Aristophanes' Birds will allow you to better understand what the author wanted to say, to find out the main events of the work, without even reading it.
The main characters of the comedy are Evelpid and Pisfeter. They leave Athens in search of a place better suited for a quiet life. On their journey, they arrive at the king of birds Hoopoe.
Pisfeter manages to convince the birds that they are meant to rule the world. On his initiative, approximately in the middle between earth and sky, the construction of a bird city, called Tuchekukuyshchina, begins.
As a token of gratitude, the birds give wings to the main characters. Pisfeter begins to rule in the new city, putting his plan into action. His ultimate goal is to take power from the gods on Olympus. As part of this plan, the birds intercept the smoke from the sacrifices, convincing people to start worshiping them in return for patronage.
City of Birds
People from all over the world flock to the new city, wanting to get some benefit for themselves or settle in it.
Aristophanes describes how one by one a soothsayer, a poet, an overseer, a surveyor, a legislator, and also the goddess Irida, who personifies the rainbow, arrives one by one to the ruler Pisfeter.
Then appearsanother poet, a son offended by his father. And also the hero Prometheus, who secretly tells Pispheter that the gods are seriously concerned about the state of affairs in the world and intend to send an embassy to start negotiations.
The messengers themselves arrive. These are Hercules, Poseidon and the barbarian god Triballus. Pisfeter agrees to conclude a peace treaty with them, having received the scepter of Zeus for this - a symbolic rod of power over the world. And also the daughter of the supreme Olympic god Vasily. The latter is absent from ancient Greek mythology, it was invented by Aristophanes. Pisfeter's plan succeeds, he achieves everything he wanted.
What is the comedy about?
In the analysis of "Birds" by Aristophanes, it should be noted that this work combines the features of not only satire, but also utopia about building an ideal state.
The main character Pisfeter is carefully written. He appears as a multifaceted personality, who at some moments shows his best personal qualities, and at other episodes demonstrates that a person is characterized by desires to become a tyrant, seizing power, as well as demagoguery.
Proof of the last thesis is the episode at the very end of the comedy, when birds are served at the festive feast in honor of the successful completion of negotiations with the Olympic gods. They rebelled against the democracy built in Tuchekukuyshchyna. Now Pisfeter himself roasts them to treat his guests.