Premium Essay

Aristophane's Lysistrata

In: English and Literature

Submitted By rsmiller1220
Words 619
Pages 3
Elayne Miller
March 17, 2014
English 2111
Paper 1 Aristophanes’s Lysistrata shows the different types of women in society and the inequality of the sexes during Peloponnesian War. During that time, women had no political rights. There was a war going on between the Athenian and the Spartans, and the women, specifically, Lysistrata, wanted to stop it by seizing Acropolis and refusing sex from all the men in the city. Women during the Peloponnesian war were not expected to end the war, however, in the play, Lysistrata, women had the intelligence and judgment to make political decisions just like men. In the play, Lysistrata’s behavior is not like other women. She likes to stand up for herself and not take orders from anyone. The other women are rather the opposite. They don’t care about anything once the possibility of sex is taken away from them. When she gathered all the women together, she says that “From now on, no more penises for you” (829). What that meant was the plan to end the war was for women to refuse sex from men. They are to stand up for themselves and not give in to their husband’s orders. The other women were not happy with Lysistrata’s plan to end the war, which shows Lysistrata that the other women are not like her, but in the end, the plan worked and the women restored peace to the city. Aristophanes showed both side of women in this play, the stereotypical housewife and the influential, leader type. When Lysistrata says, “I am a woman, but I have a mind that wasn’t bad to start with” (857), she makes the point that she is just as smart as the men in the city. Men and women have always had conflicting differences since the beginning of time and it shows in the play, Lysistrata. When it comes to war, women were never allowed to participate. Women are told that it isn’t their business to meddle in the affairs of wars. In today’s…...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Lysistrata

...411 B.C. Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, a Greek play where women use sex as power to negotiate a peace treaty, was performed in Athens with only male actors. However, the protagonist, Lysistrata, is a heroine. A great majority of the cast consists of female roles, but were all played by men. Aristophanes used many different theatrical techniques of the time to fruitfully project the fallacy of the dominant phallus in Lysistrata’s comedic reversal of power. Aristophanes’ satirizes phallic centric ancient Greece with explicit, witty dialogue and theatrical props. Understanding the costumes of fifth century Greece, the actor playing Cinesias would likely have been wearing flesh colored tights with a large phallic prop. Cinesias enters the scene moaning and sporting, as Lysistrata exclaims, “love upon him like a staff” from being without his wife to ease his suffering. Use of props to exaggerate physical attributes highlights the powerful effect of the women’s sex strike. This is also shown by the Magistrate’s interactions with the Herald. The Magistrate asks the Herald, “why do you hide that lance,” while the Herald boldly remarks, “I've brought no lance.” These phallic props would be designed to grasp the audience’s attention and allow for the comedic effects to sink in. The Greek women forcing the stiff, unyielding men to their knees with a treasury heist and sex strike turns Athenian male dominant society on its head. Our main character, Lysistrata, and her accomplice,......

Words: 713 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Social Issues in Aristophanes

...ultimately offered plausible solutions in the most comical way possible. For instance, the play Lysistrata by Aristophanes looks at the prevailing problem of never-ending war enhance by the decisions of men in both Sparta and Athens and the over failure to agree to end the war. In this play Aristophanes explores this group of women from Athens who also influences other women from neighboring nations. The refusal by the women to have sex with their husbands until they make a truce with the Spartans is quite comical (Silk 83). Although many people did not believe that the solution would work but turned out to coerce Athenian men to strike a compromise with the Spartans so that they could win back their wives. The theme of war and sex in this play are comically interplayed and the connection between the two aspects of the Athenian and Spartan societies make the comical link. Aristophanes in his comedy amuses his readers and audience when he passes across anti-war message for the play name Lysistrata means to break up the army. Same is the case in the play Frogs in which the desperation lead the Greek god Dionysus to bring Euripides who is recently deceased because of the unavailability of tragic poets (Aristophanes and McLeish 117). The challenge of masculine role by women in order to restore the once cohesion of the society is brought out in the most comical way. At the time when Lysistrata was written by Aristophanes the notorious Peloponnesian War threatened to bring......

Words: 1489 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Lysistata Paper

...HIST 115-24 Lysistrata Paper In Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, the women unite to end the war between Athens and Sparta. This unity is desired to achieve peace where the men could not. The central figure who makes the argument for peace is the character Lysistrata who at first glance may appear feminist to the modern reader. Though once Lysistrata is read more carefully, the female characters of Lysistrata actually present a negative portrayal of women, with their manipulations and use of sex appeal and seduction. As a result the women are portrayed in a negative connotation as the weaker sex. The play Lysistrata takes place during the Peloponnesian War, a war between Athens and Sparta in Greece. A group of women, lead by the main character Lysistrata, come together to bring about peace and end the war to bring their husbands home. In order to force the men to negotiate peace, they promise to deny their husbands of sex until they agree. As a result the men try to retaliate and a battle of the sexes begins. In a series of exaggerated and very blatant sexual innuendos, the women prevail and convince the men of Athens and Sparta to agree to a peace treaty. The play does not promote women’s rights, but portrays women as merely having a physical influence over men, an influence based solely on their sex appeal. The female characters use sex and seduction to their advantage allowing the men to only see them as physical objects of worth. The female characters do not even try......

Words: 1079 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Classics

...were respected and held as important political leaders -In Clouds, Pheidippedes is forced to attend the Thoughtery by his father Strepsiades in order to win a debate against creditors. However, instead of acting exactly as his father wanted, Pheidippedes turns against his father and argues that he should be able to hit his father and mother like how his father hits him. On the other hand, North Vietnam was creating havoc by trying to unify Vietnam under communist belief but failed causing a huge number of fatalities. These two are similar in that in both situations two parties who didn’t want to be involved were forced against their will and it caused a bigger conflict than before. -In both Lysistrata and Hair, it talks about individuals who don’t want to partake in the war. In Lysistrata it talks about women who want their husbands and sons to be withdrawn from the war while in Hair it’s about individuals themselves who want to avoid being drafted. -Athens’ surrender in disgrace can also be compared to the US forces leaving Vietnam in disgrace. Movie Question CENTAURS: Was there a religious aspect to the Peloponnesian war? There was a religious aspect to the Peloponnesian war although the gods didn’t play an active role in Thucydides work because it was acknowledged that history was determined by the choices and actions of human beings. Instead, religion and the pieties played critical roles in the actions of the Spartans and Athenians because religion played......

Words: 401 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Dsxzc Zx

...example One function of most comedies is to satirise, to mock, to subvert, to correct. To what extent ! does ‘Lysistrata’ conform to this notion?! 1 People, it seems, like to laugh at themselves. Self-depreciation is a classic pillar of humour, erected by the Greeks in plays of the Old Comedy genre and remaining even now in the modern- day stand-up show. Satirisation is, of course, the manifestation of humanity’s awareness of its own flaws - one way in which we recognise our foibles is to laugh at them. However, there is an even more intrinsic human desire that humour highlights, something that we choose to mock more than our own actions. It seems also that people like to laugh at other people - particularly when the r!ecipient of the criticism is one who is in a position of power or authority.! ‘Lysistrata’ - one of the most profoundly influential works of the classical comic Aristophanes - is an example of just that. Aristophanes takes his surroundings and synthesises a contrary scenario, making his audience laugh, but more importantly making radical arguments about the state of affairs in Athens in 411BC. Through the voice of his actors, he provides an amusing but pertinent s!ocial commentary that can pique the interest of the residents of his city. ! There are two social conditions that Aristophanes subverts in ‘Lysistrata’, giving clues about the attitudes at the time and the problems that the real-life characters were facing. One of these is familiar: the......

Words: 1362 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Feminism in Lysistrata

...from the Perspective of Lysistrata Lysistrata is portrayed as a hero by Aristophanes and just as Antigone had played a social role in politics, so is Lysistrata portrayed. Most ancient Greek writers were people who had established themselves in the society. They were people of class, and when they wrote about women, they mostly wrote about women from their own social class. Women were shown to participate only in the domestic roles of childbearing and that saw many women confined to their houses. They rarely ventured out of the proximity of their domestic dwellings, let alone participate in manly politics. Lysistrata, however, steps up and take up a political role, an unusual thing in ancient Greek. She empowers women and shows their ability to run the state. Lysistrata is thus shown to be a feminist hero boasting of women empowerment. Many Marxist thinkers would conclude that Lysistrata was nothing more about feminism bout about sex. The women of Greece attempt to end the war using their sexuality, an act that prevails as they see their men return home and agree to sign a peace treaty. There is, however, much more beyond sexuality as the play displays issues of gender, masculinity and femininity. In Lysistrata, the masculine authority that has always prevailed in Ancient Greek is challenged by the women of Greece. The main characters, Lysistrata, Myrrhina and kalonike are all given positive roles that depict women as heroes. Lysistrata, is the one who......

Words: 1781 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

Lysistrata

...Lysistrata Lysistrata, the play is about the war between Athenians and its allies and the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta, which is resolved by the women of both sides refusing to have sex with their husbands. The show goes after the idea that humans are naturally very, very hornny. This show is excellent for anyone who enjoys below the belt comedy. Personally I enjoyed this show, but that maybe due to the fact that I know a lot about ancient cultures. However you do not need to know very much about the Greek culture to enjoy this show. The only thing I did not like about this show was the modern refinances and I was hoping they had on grand masks on through the whole play. This show is one of the better comedies I have seen manly because the director Kendra Helton knew that the scrip was already over the top, so with the addition of some props it pushed it gave it the right amount of cheese. The acting was well done because it did mirror some of ideas of how we thought the Ancient Greek plays were like. Christine Coran did a good job making Lysistrata dramatic, this help lead her compatriots through the seen by giving them the proper motivation to deliver their lines properly. The men in this play truly portrayed the male gender as it was intently written; this set up many of the jokes of the show and helped the overall performance of the leads. At some points in the play the stage was over crowded with ensemble, this sometime made it hard to track what was going on.......

Words: 395 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Greek Theater Essay

...ENG 209-001 Greek Theater Essay Medea by Euripedes and Lysistrata by Aristophanes are two different Greek plays in which the main characters are both strong females with goals to accomplish. Medea is a tragedy written about a woman driven by revenge. Lysistrata is a comedy about a woman who wants to take a stand. Greek tragedies and comedies usually did not have too much in common, besides the general moral background instilled in the people of that time period. Although tragedies always ended in death and comedies often ended in marriage or love, the two characters from opposite genres of theater share many of the same qualities. Both main characters, Medea and Lysistrata, are very strong, smart, determined women whose main goals are to be happy. When first reading Medea you might not think that her goal is to find happiness because it is masked by her want and need for revenge as well. Medea is a very sad story because many characters dead by the end of the play, as is typical in a tragedy. Medea murders Glauce and Creon and then her own two children so that her husband, Jason, must suffer their losses. She did so to get revenge on him for leaving her for the Princess. Medea was so determined to make Jason pay for what he had done to her that she had no restrictions on her actions. She murdered her children only to seek revenge on her ex-husband and to cause him suffering as he did to her. Medea would not be happy until Jason was seeing a consequence for is actions......

Words: 605 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Lysistrata

...While Aristophanes clearly wrote Lysistrata as a way of protesting the war, there is another theme tied into the story that is both important and connected with the protest of the war. At this time in history, women had no political rights. However, Aristophanes makes the women the saviors; they seize the Acropolis, demand the end of the war by leaving the men without sex, and negotiate the peace. This theme, women in politics, or feminism, surrounds this story and perhaps foreshadows the eventual rise of women into politics that we are now beginning to see today. These themes lend weight to each other throughout the course of the play. That Lysistrata focused on the Peloponnesian War was nothing new for Aristophanes. The majority of his works date from the years of the Peloponnesian War, 431-404 B.C. The Acharnians, written in 425 B.C. was the story of an Athenian that makes a separate peace for himself and his family, and enjoys the benefits of peace while everyone else is still at war (NAWM, 394). The Peace focuses on an Athenian that flies to Heaven on a dung-beetle and asks Zeus to end the war (394). The theme of the Peloponnesian War is nothing new in Aristophanes work. However, the treatment of women in Lysistrata is very different from anything else. First off, Lysistrata, the “hero” of the play, is in actuality a heroine. By the time Lysistrata was released, Sparta had built its own fleet with the help of its allies and had beaten back the Athenian fleet. Perhaps...

Words: 1303 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Pericles's Athens

...Pericles's Athens: With both of the Greek plays Lysistrata and Medea, we see that a women is treated as far less than equal to a man in every way, and are always looked upon as their husband's property. In both plays, the husbands see their wives as liabilities, and they also see their wives as only useful to doing the chores around the home, and of course, to bearing them children. When Medea is betrayed and cheated on by her now ex-husband and father of their children, Jason, she says, “But I, without a city, am alone, Ill-treated as the property of a man Who took me from a foreign land as spoil.” (32-33). To a woman in ancient Greek times, bearing her husband sons to continue the family line, and being owned by him was the whole meaning of her life. Medea pushes this property belief further, and refers to her ex-husband Jason's newest bride as “your newly-captured girl.” (43). In Lysistrata, the Greek woman character, Calonice states that a woman's life belongs in the family home when she says, “...women who dwell in the retirement of the household...” (3), stating that this was the woman's only place that she could be in charge. In both of the plays, men often talk down to the women, further proving the fact that at this time a women was viewed to have a worth so much less than a man's. The Chorus of Old Men say in Lysistrata that they take care of their women, and that the women live off of them, “Here we have the women, who used, for our misfortune, to......

Words: 1195 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Women’s Influence on Men in Power

...Women have historically used their bodies and sexuality to influence the decisions of men. This also proves to be true in most present-day cultures around the world. Though a large majority of the countries of the world are led by men, women have a way of influencing men in their decisions. In both Lysistrata and The Thousand and One Nights, women have great influences on men in power to positively affect the community or kingdom in which the story takes place. In both literary works, this influence from the women brought peace to a society previously in turmoil. The way that women influence men in these works indicates that women in these cultures were able to use their sexuality to earn the right to speak into a man’s life, as they still do today, and positively influence the decisions of men in power due to their nurturing nature and community mindedness. In The Thousand and One Nights, King Shahrayar, the king of Persia, was causing turmoil as he sought vengeance on women for their infidelity by sleeping with a virgin every night and killing her the next morning. The protagonist, Shahrazad, daughter of the king’s vizier, was determined to bring peace back to the kingdom by putting a stop to the king’s slaughter. After Shahrazad volunteered to be the king’s next victim, she used her sexuality in sleeping with the king to gain respect and the right to speak in the king’s chamber. It was not her sexuality that saved her life, but her intellect and storytelling. However,......

Words: 1345 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

War and Love

...serious topic of war and how it affected the Greeks. He is also the author of Lysistrata, a play where Aristophanes expressed his feeling and thought about the war during this period of time. “Aristophanes wrote to express his vision on life, his delight in life itself seen behind the warping screen of contemporary event.” In this play, we will get to see the importance and serious meaning of war toward the union, espectually the soldiers’ family. The play Lysistrata is about the war between Athens and Sparta. This play is about the story of “ an Athenian matron who convinces the women of Athens and Sparta to withhold sex from their husband until they sign a peace treaty.”The main character is Lysistrata, and she is one of the Athens’ women that willingly to stand up toward the men just to bring peace back. She does not want war between the cities in Greeks. Lysistrata wanted to save Greeks and she believed that if all the women agreed then they can achieve the tremendous goal. “So fine it comes to this--Greece saved by Woman!” She held a meeting with all the other women and told them about her plan to bring peace. There is only one way to save the union is to make all the women withhold sexual privileges with their husband. “sexually explicitly to a degree that can still shock a modern audience, it takes place during the Peloponnesian Wars” “We must refrain from every depth of love.” Lysistrata believed that if the women refuse their husband then the men will stop......

Words: 1917 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Lysistrata

... EN101_EN260_IGEN160-C303 01-12-2014 At what extremes should a person go to, for love? And to what lengths, would you go for love? In history, the power of love, has made many people go to some pretty extreme lengths. I know that I’ve done a crazy or foolish act for love. While many can relate to this, many my not and will find that the play Lysistrata extremely intriguing. Lysistrata, would do the impossible and unthinkable; to get her husband back, for what seemed to be an ever lasting war. Knowing that she needs to something, and that she would not be able to this alone, her marriage and love would depend on the outcome of her plan. This would not easy and would be a long hard journey, she sets out with a master planed scheme that would bring everything to a stop, by ending the war, bringing her husband home and earning the respect of both men and women of Greece. Lysistrata knew what she had to do to get her husband home from war, but needing all the other woman from various towns in Greece, to follow through with her master plan. Lysistrata‘s, most intriguing trait was her ability to communicate and encouraged other women to follow her plan of step one; making an oath, of no sexual encounters with men. Although not widely popular with the other women, setting out this strategic plan of cutting off sex to their husbands. Next, step two; of stopping the cash flow from the bank to supply the continuing of war. In the play, they put up barriers and barricades to......

Words: 759 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

“Comedy Is Both Timeless and of Its Own Time”. to Which of the Plays You Have Read Do You Think This Statement Most Applies?

...miserable and waste your money endlessly spending money - “all that sort of expense that women cost”. Again, this concept of married women stealing men’s freedom and wealth is shown in The Brothers Menaechmus where Menaechmus explains how he has provided his wife with “servants, food, clothes, jewellery and “everything she could possibly need” yet she still constantly pesters him and is never satisfied. In a humorous light the playwrights display married women as an irritation to men’s life, who do nothing whilst men slave away only for women to spend their wealth – comedy which would be more of its own time rather than timeless. Similarly, women across the plays we see women as manipulative, cunning and artful – especially captured in Lysistrata which shows the extent to which women can artfully gather together and strike against the men being described as “clever villains” and as Myrrhine states “There’s no getting the better of women”. This is substantiated by The Swaggering Soldier where the female characters show us how they are always up to mischief and use manipulative ways to deceive men; as Philocomasium states how “an artful woman doesn’t need to go to a market… she grows her own spice and stuffing” to cook up any “dish of mischief” depicting typical traits of women in society at the time the plays were written. Hence, the comedy here is of its time as it reflects stereotypes of women in the societies of Aristophanes and Plautus. Furthermore, it could be argued......

Words: 2059 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Lysistrata

...Lysistrat by Aristophanes 410 BC anonymous translator CHARACTERS IN THE PLAY LYSISTRATA CLEONICE MYRRHINE LAMPITO MAGISTRATES CINESIAS CHILD OF CINESIAS HERALD OF THE LACEDAEMONIANS ENVOYS OF THE LACEDAEMONIANS AN ATHENIAN CITIZEN CHORUS OF OLD MEN CHORUS OF WOMEN (SCENE:-At the base of the Orchestra are two buildings, the house of LYSISTRATA and the entrance to the Acropolis; a winding and narrow path leads up to the latter. Between the two buildings is the opening of the Cave of Pan. LYSISTRATA is pacing up and down in front of her house.) LYSISTRATA Ah! if only they had been invited to a Bacchic revelling, or a feast of Pan or Aphrodite or Genetyllis, why! the streets would have been impassable for the thronging tambourines! Now there's never a woman here-ah! except my neighbour Cleonice, whom I see approaching yonder.... Good day, Cleonice. CLEONICE Good day, Lysistrata; but pray, why this dark, forbidding face, my dear? Believe me, you don't look a bit pretty with those black lowering brows. LYSISTRATA Oh, Cleonice, my heart is on fire; I blush for our sex. Men will have it we are tricky and sly.... CLEONICE And they are quite right, upon my word! LYSISTRATA Yet, look you, when the women are summoned to meet for a matter of the greatest importance, they lie in bed instead of coming. CLEONICE Oh! they will come, my dear; but it's not easy, you know, for women to leave the house. One is busy pottering about her husband;......

Words: 13788 - Pages: 56