Aristophanes: The Birds

(2350 words)
  • Ian Storey (Trent University)

Birds was produced in 414 BCE at the festival of the City Dionysia in Athens “through Kallistratos”, where it won the second prize. We know that Aristophanes used other men (Kallistratos, Philonides, his son Araros) to produce his comedies, not just in his early years (427-425), but throughout his dramatic career.

Two Athenians, Euelpides (“Good Hope”) and Peisetairos (“Persuasive Companion”), having fled Athens to avoid the annoyances of politics and the law courts, seek out Tereus, a mythical human with Athenian connections, now transformed into a hoopoe, a magpie-like bird with a very distinctive crest. Here Peisetairos has his great idea: to found a city in the clouds and by …

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Storey, Ian. "The Birds". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 August 2013
[, accessed 02 July 2015.]