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The Wasps

by Aristophanes

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Book Description
This Comedy, which was produced by its author the year after the performance of 'The Clouds,' may be taken as in some sort a companion picture to that piece. Here the satire is directed against the passion of the Athenians for the excitement of the law-courts, as in the former its object was the new philosophy. And as the younger generation-the modern school of thought-were there the subjects of the caricature, so here the older citizens, who took their seats in court as jurymen day by day, to the neglect of their private affairs and the encouragement of a litigious disposition, appear in their turn in the mirror which the satirist holds up.-From the introduction to 'The Wasps' by Aristophanes.

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Text: Greek, English

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XANTHIAS (turning to the audience): Come, I must explain the matter to the spectators. But first a few words of preamble: expect nothing very high-flown from us, nor any jests stolen from Megara; we have no slaves, who throw baskets of nuts to the spectators, nor any Heracles to be robbed of his dinner, nor does Euripides get loaded with contumely.



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