Tuesday, October 16

Wealth... .....

I've been reading  "Wealth" ...the play by Aristophanes..........

Wow!! who does this woman think she is?

Well I spied the book at a car boot sale in Boscastle in Cornwall and it was only 50p....so I thought ,  "why not give it a go and educate yourself a bit Geraldine".

I think the sale was to raise funds for the town as many of the inhabitants are still without homes after the horrible flood that occured a couple of years ago destroying many ancient and historic houses.

Anyway ..I was to say the least... overwhelmed by the play and the way that Aristophanes put the thoughts and words together as if he were writing those thoughts today.

I'm quite aware that the play is translated and that the translator may have put his interpretation on parts of it... but even accepting that ...and thinking of the political, financial and ethical shenanigans worldwide over the last few years...it's pretty close to the bone.

Isn't that something...that Greece was in the same position then as now?...then being around 400 b.c.

You may ...lovely follower...now give up and not read any further...but I think that you would miss the best...if you did so.!!!


Excerts from "Wealth", by Aristophenes
Translated by...Alan H.Sommerstein
(in which wealth is blind)

Chremylus...(an ancient Farmer) speaking to Poverty (a horrific goddess):  "The present state of our human life can only be described as utter madness and lunacy. Many wicked men live in prosperity through their ill-gotten gains, while others of great virtue are poor and hungry and always accompanied by you............

Poverty speaks....You are certainly very easily persuaded to lose your wits ! You're real members of the Stuff and Nonsense Club! If what you desire were to happen, it would by no means be to your advantage. If Wealth were to see once more and divide himself in fair shares to all, no-one would pursue any trade  or craft any more. And with no trades or crafts, who'll do your metalwork? Who'll build your ships? Who'll be your tailors, your turners, your cobblers, your brickmakers, your launderers, your tanners? Who'll break up  the clods with his plough and harvest the fruits of the Goddess of Corn, if it's open to him to forget about all that and live in idleness?

Chremylus....What rubbish you talk! all those things you mentioned, why, our slaves will do them for us.

Poverty....And where will you get your slaves from?

Chremylus....Buy them of course.

Poverty...But why should anyone sell them, if he's already got all the money he wants?..............

..........     further down page....
Poverty...You won't even have a bed to lie on: there won't be any. No carpets: who's going to weave if he's not short of money? No scents to perfume the bride with, no expensive rich-coloured clothes to dress her in.And if you can't have any of these things, what on earth is the point of being rich?............

Hmmmmmm!      ...and so on.   

The whole play is really quite funny and gets the message across very subtley as they say "slowly slowly catchy monkey"   


2 comments:

  1. You give me the thought to seek out this play. When I was still in my teens - and still reading the Eagle Comic, if my memory serves me aright - I picked up a second hand Penguin edition of Plato's Dialogues (Don't ask why?) I'm still feeling the repercussions. I cancelled the Eagle and ordered The Listener - again if I remember... I can still recite chunks.

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  2. how lovely to be reminded of the Eagle Comic...I still remember waiting on the bottom step of the stairs for my aunt to arrive with Eagle for my brother and Girl for me ...but Girl was not up top the same standard as Eagle!!! enjoy the play! my next is Euripedes!!!!

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