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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Translation
With the old comedy of Greece (i.e. Aristophanes), a more common language was used, therefore, a common dialect should be used for the translation. Roche does that here, much like any of the other translations. This should not direct one away from the text. It is very readable, and brings out the great humor of these works. It is also the one of the only ways to get...
Published on October 23, 2007 by Matthew C. Roberson

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47 of 58 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Local Dialect Detracts from the Plays
Paul Roche, attempting to give his plays a more "familiar" feel to an English-speaking audience goes too far.

He has the irritating habit of occasionally flavoring the words of a minor character in such a way that they sound more like an English country bumpkin than the character they are supposed to represent.

As an example, near the beginning of...
Published on December 9, 2006 by Chris StarShade


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Translation, October 23, 2007
This review is from: Aristophanes: The Complete Plays (Paperback)
With the old comedy of Greece (i.e. Aristophanes), a more common language was used, therefore, a common dialect should be used for the translation. Roche does that here, much like any of the other translations. This should not direct one away from the text. It is very readable, and brings out the great humor of these works. It is also the one of the only ways to get all of Aristophanes' extant plays in one collection, and for a good price. Very worthy of your bookshelf.
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47 of 58 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Local Dialect Detracts from the Plays, December 9, 2006
This review is from: Aristophanes: The Complete Plays (Paperback)
Paul Roche, attempting to give his plays a more "familiar" feel to an English-speaking audience goes too far.

He has the irritating habit of occasionally flavoring the words of a minor character in such a way that they sound more like an English country bumpkin than the character they are supposed to represent.

As an example, near the beginning of The Acharnians, Roche does the following; pay close attention to the Crier:

AMPHITHEUS: Have the speeches begun?

CRIER: 'oo wishes to speak?

AMPHITHEUS: I do.

CRIER: 'oo are you?

AMPHITHEUS: Amphitheus

CRIER: That don't sound like a 'uman being.

This is but a single example. If you prefer a feeling of authenticity in your ancient Greek drama, stay away from Paul Roche.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Decent Modernization, Horrible Translation, January 30, 2010
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This translation of Aristophanes takes many liberties with the Greek. The translator has a knack for adding profanity wherever he sees fit. This gets in the way of the humor, and makes Aristophanes' admittedly crude humor much cruder than necessary. Furthermore, there are random lines that the translator adds, including one in The Suits that seems as if he is just trying to slip in his own political views among those of the poets. Significant lines have also been removed or altered beyond recognition. Though this translator does make an honest attempt at modernizing the puns and jokes used in the play, he fails utterly at maintaining the original meaning and vibe of the poetry.

In a nutshell, there are much better translations of Aristophanes out there.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Reference, April 20, 2014
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This review is from: Aristophanes: The Complete Plays (Paperback)
I pick this book up and put it down a few times a year - its part of my personal reference library. Its a well put together book which is why it has a spot in my library.
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2.0 out of 5 stars It is not a very reliable translation, March 31, 2014
This review is from: Aristophanes: The Complete Plays (Paperback)
It is not a very reliable translation. It does try to make the plays more to appeal to modern reader, but in doing so looses quite a bit in the reqard to the original.
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21 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ribald and Raucous, April 21, 2004
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Frank T. Klus (Phoenix, Arizona United States) - See all my reviews
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Aristophanes was a ribald playwright whose raucous plays were brilliantly brought to life by Fred Beake, David Slavitt, Palmer Bovie, and Jack Flavin. The first two of the four plays in Aristophanes, 1, The Acharnians and Peace were written during the Peloponnesian War between Athens, Sparta, and their allies. It was a terrible war consuming all of Greece, and Aristophanes was one of the first peace advocates. In The Acharnians, Dikaiopolis (which means "Good Citizen"), tries to convince the Assembly to discuss peace terms, only to be shut out of the discussion. So he hires Amphitheus, who claims to be a son of a god ordered to bring peace, to go to Sparta and make a treaty between Sparta and his family. In Peace, Trygaeus flies to heaven on a beetle to talk Zeus into advocating peace but Zeus went on vacation because he couldn't stand the fighting anymore and left War in charge. War buried Peace and Trygaeus had to rescue her to bring Peace to Athens.
The third play in the series, Celebrating Ladies, was a raucous attempt by Euripides, the famous Tragedian, to send his brother-in-law to the women's assembly to find out what the women are saying about him. So he dresses up as a woman and learns the women want to kill Euripides for writing so many disparaging things about them. Mnesilochus, the brother-in-law, speaks up for Euripides and the women try to kill him too. He's finally rescued when Euripides promises to change his behavior.
Finally, Wealth, represented the last of the extant plays of Aristophanes. Chremylus and his slave discover Wealth, a god blinded by Zeus because Zeus was afraid he might visit honest men. Chremylus claims he can restore his sight if he'll only visit with honest men. Wealth agrees, and with his sight restored, sprreads wealth to honest men and the lying informers are made to suffer in poverty.
The four plays in Aristophanes, 1 span the gamut from Old Comedy to New Comedy. The former was characterized by vulgar and slapstick humor with a Chorus used to interact with the audience. As comedy evolved, the Chorus played less a role and there was a softening of the ribald humor so characteristic of Old Comedy.
To make the plays more readable and understandable without losing any of the humor of the plays, the translators often made references to Twentieth Century phrases instead of the original Greek phrases. This might be annoying to the scholar but makes these plays eminently enjoyable to the general reader
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, as usual, April 12, 2008
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This review is from: Aristophanes: The Complete Plays (Paperback)
What's there to say? Paul Roche is a fine translator of Greek drama, and it shows.
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Aristophanes: The Complete Plays
Aristophanes: The Complete Plays by Aristophanes (Paperback - February 1, 2005)
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