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Lysistrata

Lysistrata

The play of Lysistrata written by Aristophanes takes place during the Peleponnesian War in the twelfth year of the struggle. The conflict which is the central plot of the play begins in the spring when Thebes, a Spartan ally, attacked Plataea, an ally of Athens. The war fell into three phases: First came ten years of intermittent fighting, concluded by an uneasy truce in 421. However in 415 Athens launched a massive and ill-fated assault against Sicily. The brutal fighting continued for six year until the end for Athens came in 405, when the Spartan navy under Lysander decisively defeated the Athenians in the battle of Aegospotami.
Aristophanes introduces his audience to Lysistrata an intelligent and determined woman who is fed up with the war and the fatality of her friend's husbands and spending her nights alone. Determined to end the fighting Lysistrara conceives a clever way to end the war with a sex strike. She convinces her fellow females from Corinth, Sparta and Boeotia to be relentless in their withhold from sex with their husbands until a peace treaty can be reached among the nations. At first the women are reluctant "Anything, anything but that! Bid me go through the fire, if you will,-but to rob us of the sweetest thing in all the world, Lysistrata darling!"--however they relent and swear an oath of allegiance by drinking wine from a shield and proceed to barricading themselves in the Acropolis . The men of the city are quickly outraged and a verbal fight ensues as the women plead their case. Eventually the males relent and the terms of a treaty are discussed at a banquet and afterwards the men go home with their wives.
Lysistrata is a stage play classified as old comedy, which was a genre of comedy that presented great imagination and used humor and exaggeration to ridicule public figures, politics, ideas, trends, and institutions. Aristophanes essentially wanted to express his opinion on the stupidity of the war--he believed it to be a waste of people and resources. Lysistrata herself exhibited the more common traits of the hero providing the stage with one of the first heroines. "Yes, we're going to save you, whether you like it or not." One of the central themes of the play was the power of women in everyday society. The play addresses the contributions women could make to humanity and to politics however the use of male actors playing the female role leave the audience to decide for themselves if the play is a proto-feminist dialogue, or not. The play as a work of art can be staged effectively as a misogynist lampooning of women or as a feminist argument for the need for more female participation in civic life. Lysistrata would have been highly comical to Aristophanes' generation, because the concept of female influence was ludicrous. Aristophanes demonstrates that without the women around the men of Athens and Sparta are united in chaos. Myrrhine's husband Kinesias demonstrates this by presenting this wife with their child who has not been bathed or properly cared for at all. "There, listen! Don't you pity the poor child? It's six days now you've never washed and never fed the child.-" The Lysistrata expresses the popular desire for peace at any cost. This opinion was common among the citizens and exhausted the play's popularity.
A reader or audience can enjoy this particular perspective of the Peleponnesian War. It was easy to envision a strong woman who had the capability to influence not only her friends but the outcome of an Government. The proposal that women have the power to do anything is an powerful message within itself. "Our country's fortunes depend on us-it is with us to undo utterly the Peloponnesians." Additionally the reader or audience will likely find the humor of the play to be particularly inviting. One may find themselves laughing out loud on several occasions and will in all likelihood find the play to be a pleasurable experience.
The play of Lysistrata holds an anti-war message concerning the ridiculousness of war, more specifically the Peleponnesian War by suggesting the females of Athens and Sparta are capable of ending the ordeal with an sex strike. Aristophanes use of satire to mock the conflict provides an enjoyable reading experience that is more probably more effective on stage than on paper. The suggestion that a war is so ridiculous that women could end it may be mildly insulting to today's feminist however when considering the time during which the play was performed one can appreciate the humorous style of the classic theatrical production.

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The play of Lysistrata written by Aristophanes takes place during the Peleponnesian War in the twelfth year of the struggle. The conflict which is the central plot of the play begins in the spring when Thebes, a Spartan ally, attacked Plataea, an ally of Athens. The war fell into three phases: First came ten years of intermittent fighting, concluded by an uneasy truce in 421. However in 415 Athens launched a massive and ill-fated assault against Sicily. The brutal fighting continued for six year until the end for Athens came in 405, when the Spartan navy under Lysander decisively defeated the Athenians in the battle of Aegospotami.
Aristophanes introduces his audience to Lysistrata an intelligent and determined woman who is fed up with the war and the fatality of her friend's husbands and spending her nights alone. Determined to end the fighting Lysistrara conceives a clever way to end the war with a sex strike. She convinces her fellow females from Corinth, Sparta and Boeotia to be relentless in their withhold from sex with their husbands until a peace treaty can be reached among the nations. At first the women are reluctant ...

Solution Summary

A descriptive discussion about Aristophanes' Lysistrata are determined.

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