Lysistrata: Aristophanes

Although the play itself is interesting and has literary merit–it’s an ancient Greek drama, for Christ’s sake–I have to admit that I wasn’t the biggest fan of the “modern translation”. If I’m going to read Greek drama, I want the language. I want all of the experience, and I don’t want to see Spartans portrayed as Duck Dynasty caricatures. But it’s impossible to deny: the satire is strong in this one.

Lysistrata has had enough of the interminable war and come to the conclusion that the only way to end it is to take control of the treasury and, furthermore, to deny all sexual gratification until a truce has been called. And she means so much business that she gets the Spartan women involved, too.

Women were, at this time, considered intrinsically sexual beings, insatiable in their desires and therefore requiring male control. For an audience in that time period–mainly male, with the few females consisting of bourgeoisie whose sole job was to be bourgeoisie–the idea of women controlling the treasury and commanding control of the society to end the war would be highly ridiculous and hilarious.


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