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Silent roles

  • Manes slave to Pisthetaerus
  • Bird dancers (flamingo, cock, 2nd Hoopoe, Gobbler)
  • Nightingale formerly Procne (flute player)
  • Raven piper
  • Sovereignty beauteous maid
  • Attendants as required
SettingA hillside wilderness outside the Hoopoe's nest

The Birds (Greek: Ὄρνιθες Ornithes) is a comedy by the Ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes. It was performed in 414 BC at the City Dionysia where it won second place. It has been acclaimed by modern critics as a perfectly realized fantasy[3] remarkable for its mimicry of birds and for the gaiety of its songs.[4] Unlike the author's other early plays, it includes no direct mention of the Peloponnesian War and there are few references to Athenian politics, and yet it was staged not long after the commencement of the Sicilian Expedition, an ambitious military campaign that greatly increased Athenian commitment to the war effort. In spite of that, the play has many indirect references to Athenian political and social life. It is the longest of Aristophanes' surviving plays and yet it is a fairly conventional example of Old Comedy.

The plot of the play revolves around Pisthetaerus, an Athenian who convinces the birds to create a great city in the sky, and thus regain their status as the original gods. Pisthetaerus eventually transforms into a bird-like god himself, and replaces Zeus as the king of the gods.