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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Good - Standard used condition book that has some sporadic markings that do not affect the readability of the text - Exterior of the book shows shelf and reading wear
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Frogs (Focus Classical Library) Paperback – April 1, 2008

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Product Details

  • Series: Focus Classical Library
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Focus Publishing/R. Pullins Co.; Focus Classical Library edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158510308X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585103089
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Henderson has produced a charming translation of one of Aristophanes' most beloved plays. [This translation] will be useful for Greekless readers (undergraduates or general audiences) who will not require the Greek text. Henderson's detailed introduction in particular will be quite valuable for undergraduate or general readers as well.

- Erin K. Moodie, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2009.01.32

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Greek --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Giordano Bruno on August 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have a confession to make. I've never learned classical Greek.
Whoa, devoted friends, before you storm off in disillusionment, be advised that there's worse to come...
If I did undertake to learn Greek in my dotage, as I.F. Stone did, I wouldn't be aiming to read the Gospels or the Pauline Epistles. Nor the dialogues of Plato nor even the Ethics of Aristotle.
What I'd really like to read in the original would be the Comedies of Aristophanes.

Phanny, as I call him for short, was the funniest guy who ever lived, and this play "Frogs" is, according to my funny bone, the funniest of all.

The title and the "brekek kek koax" refer to the chorus of frogs that Dionysius silences while crossing the lake at the entrance to Hades, on his self-appointed mission to retrieve the tragic playwright Euripides from the underworld. Meanwhile his servant, the mortal Xanthias, the prototype of Sancho Panza and every other whacky sidekick servant in literature, is sent running around the lake and meets his master near the palace of Pluto. Dionysius and Xanthias change clothes, back and forth in slapstick uproar, and then summon the 'ghosts' of Euripides and Aeschylus to engage in a contest for the right to the chair of honor next to Pluto's throne. Sophocles, however, declines to compete out of reverence for Aeschylus. The competition is hilarious and exposes both tragedians to more mockery than praise. A modern reader with no foreknowledge of Greek drama, I hasten to admit, will NOT get most of the jokes here, but then, hey, I almost never understand the humor in an Adam Sandler film.

Frogs is more than snarky fun at the expense of the 'serious' dramatists.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
On the one hand Aristophanes's comedy "The Frogs" is a farce, but it is of more interest because it presents the earliest known example of dramatic criticism. Presented in 405 B.C., the play tells of how Dionysus, the god of drama, had to go to Hades to fetch back Euripides, who died the previous year, because Athens no longer had any great tragic poets left. The first part of the comedy involves Dionysus, who has disguised himself as Heracles, and his slave Xanthias on their way to Hades and features several interesting songs by the chorus of blessed mystics and the chorus of frogs. However, the high point of the comedy is the contest between Euripides and Aeschylus.
Each of the two great tragic poets denounces the other and quotes lines from their own works to prove their superiority. We discover that Euripides writes about vulgar themes, corrupts manners, debases music and has prosaic diction. In contrast, Aeschylus finds obscure titles and is guilty of turgid prose. In the end Dionysus finds that artistic standards of judgment are useless and turns to a political solution. This makes sense since the problem facing Athens is a political one: what to do about the tyrant Alcibiades. What is most interesting is the implicit belief that the tragic poets had a social responsibility towards the audiences of their dramas.
"Frogs," in addition to being one of the better comedies by Aristophanes, is also of interest because it contains the only fragments from several tragedies by Euripides and Aeschylus that have been long lost to us.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bill R. Moore on March 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
As the only ancient Greek comedian whose work has survived, Aristophanes' importance is impossible to exaggerate. He has not only immensely influenced comedy - and drama and literature generally - but is also practically the only source giving any idea what Greek comedy was like, making his work of immense historical value. Of course, as with all comedy that is truly universal, one need not know or even think about any of this. He is more than entertaining in his own right - indeed, still screamingly funny. Reading him, we get a profound sense of just how little comedy has changed. It is not just that what was funny nearly 2,500 years ago is still funny; techniques are basically unchanged, subject matter only being ephemeral. Aristophanes was above all a satirist, which inevitably means that many of the things he mocked and parodied are no longer intelligible without notes. We can still appreciate these with help, but what truly makes him worth reading is that the spirit of the satire - what really matters in contrast to passing fodder - continues to shine through distinctly. Human folly has changed little - has probably only increased if anything. His general observations are thus still funny - and, to those who look below the surface, still damning. Perhaps more immediately, it is striking to see that humor many think of as distinctly modern - religious blasphemy, bathroom humor, sexual humor - was as common and at least as good this long ago. Aristophanes also delights in more "serious" humor like puns and other wordplay; simply put, whether one prefers high- or low-brow, he has something for all. Humor aside, his sheer creativity still impresses; his plots and characters show near-boundless imagination and would be a significant accomplishment in even the most ostensibly serious artist.Read more ›
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