Aristophanes: Lysistrata Essay, Research Paper
A Review of Lysistrata Lysistrata, a play written by Aristophanes, was first performed in 411 B.C. It portrays an arousing comedy of a plan to end the war between Athens and Sparta as proposed by an Athenian woman, Lysistrata. To do this, she holds a meeting among the women of Greece in an effort to convince them that men will succumb to peace as a result of sexual frustration. The women agree, seizing the Acropolis to keep themselves separated from the men. Eventually, tension possesses all of Greece bringing a treaty mutually sought between the warring cities of Athens and Sparta. In addition to the events of the sex-strike, the play also deals with the recognition of women beyond the accepted role of servitude. Calonice, an Athenian woman, summarizes the typical role of a Greek female early in the play when she expresses the duties of women as attending to their husbands and performing domestic chores (15-17). Lysistrata further expands on this by saying that a woman even suggesting an interest in the affairs of state would not be accepted (521). The Athenian Magistrate confirms this by stating, You d have been soundly smacked, if you hadn t kept / still (524-525). However, being passive does not suit Lysistrata for long. She boldly presents her case explaining that women are perfectly capable of saving men (538). She illustrates that women will treat the war like a ball of wool, [drawing] out a thread here and a thread there with our / spindles; thus, we ll unsnarl this war (585-587). The comedy in her speech unravels in the artful way she simplifies political disagreements into a task not requiring a lot of skill. The men, on the other hand, can fight for some time without coming to much of an end (514-516). With this, she declares the right of citizenship and the right it gives to voice one s opinion.
Druyor 2With an accepted faith that ancient Greek literature is intellectually philosophical, Lysistrata proves to dismantle many pedestals upon which the literary Greek preconception resides. The reader can not help but laugh out loud when a Greek woman states, What? Are we going to be on top? (768). The lascivious nature of the plot and generally lewd behavior of the characters proves to be shocking and entertaining at the same time. The humor used is timeless as culture never outgrows its less than aristocratic personality. Aristophanes succeeds in raising new points to consider in erecting Greek tradition.