The Birds: a Swinging Sixties Culture Clash (BDA_US23)

     
With an ineffective ruling class being overtaken in popularity and position by the fun loving “do what you want” crowd The Birds could either live in the classic Greek world of Aristophanes, or in the swinging times of 60’s London.  This production of The Birds lead in a British translation by Leo Allyn distinctly shows the struggle between the classes and the decline of the current hierarchy. 
The birds are living in the new youth oriented and created mod culture, where they make their own rules.  This is opposed to the stuffy world of the British monarchy, who at this moment are tying to hold on to the remaining vestiges of their power.  Princess Margaret gets nothing accomplished as Iris except to spout the wonder of the gods, and be laughed off stage.  Then Neptune and Hercules come to the scene just to show that this new culture has overpowered them as well.  By the end the tie dyed Hippie of Pishetairos walks away with the daughter of the gods in marriage and ascension into heaven.  We have learned of the frivolity of the ruling class, and by being true to ourselves we can be free to govern our own lives.      

 

 
Kevin Thaker, USA  
University of Connecticut