Lysistrata Essay

The book takes place in Athens (Greece) during the Peloponnesian Wars between Athens and Sparta. All of the scenes take place on the Acropolis and shrine on a rough hill 500 feet above sea level–accessible through a marble gateway (the Propylaea). The acropolis had a gigantic ivory-and-gold statue of the. Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war and the patron goddess of Athens, was honored in the temple as Athena Parthenos. The characters come from various parts of Greece such as Pylos, Boeotia, Thebes, Corinth and Anagyr.

Lysistrata is the history of a house wife which is furious to the pointless war between Athens and Sparta and manages to have a “sex strike” as a sign of protest. She convinces all of the other women of Athens and Sparta to follow this strike to force the men to make peace. Lysistrata was written by Aristophanes in 411 B. C and is classified as a stage play and is said to be old comedy. They are multiple messages behind lysitrata all as important as each other.

The first message we get from the play is that our world would be better place if the men instead would stay at home and love their wife instead of fighting a meaningless war and wasting of lives, money, and energy. Another message given to us is how this war did not only split up a nation but destroyed families and had decimated a whole generation. We see that Greek women who are seen as inferior being compared to the men fight for their rights and win as they able to unite themselves to fight this problem (by stopping any sexual intercourse with their husbands or the men in general).

To make he’s messages come “alive” Aristophanes uses a great amount of imagination but uses satire and caricaturizes public figures and ideas. He uses a large amount of vulgarity in his dialogues to make he’s public laugh and to have a more humoristic approach to this war. For example, in Lysistrata, guards defecate in fear of angry women. A messenger incapable to contain his libido is accused of hiding a lance under his cloak. The following dialogue between two enemies, a woman and an old man, demonstrates the roughness of the humor in the play: WOMAN……. Suppose I let fly a good kick at you?

OLD MAN…… I should see your thing then. WOMAN……. You would see that, for all my age, it is very well plucked. Aristophanes’ message of pointless fighting is still very much alive two thousand years after Lysistrata was written. We have seen this example in today’s world in the fight between north-and South Korea who were fighting for no real purpose except for a new ‘political idea’. On top of this conflicts arise in families because the “sexual sovereignty” of the men over its family sometimes creates discord such as imposing unfair rules or religious customs.

I believe that Aristophanes would have seen the pointlessness of fighting between the world’s super power (USA) and a small country such as Irak. I think if he had been alive in our modern times he would of had made fun of George Bush and Tony Blair in a very unpleasant way such as mocking their reasons for the cause of this war and telling the world that irak was in the possession of weapons of mass destruction and actually having the war start because of the greed of America for irak’s oil.

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