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Lysistrata Essay, Research Paper


By Aristophanes

|We can force our husbands to negotiate Peace, Ladies, by exercising steadfast Self Control- By Total Abstinence…….Total Abstinence from SEX!X (Aristophanes,24). A band of women coming together to force peace. Taking on the initiative to get their husbands back home. This group of girls, lead by Lysistrata, decided to not allow their husbands to have sex with them until they came home for good and stopped the war. They thought that the war was silly and they desperately wanted to have their family back as a whole.

Lysistrata held a meeting to give the women their plans. At first the women disagree. They do not think that it is in any way possible not to give in to the demands of their husbands. They also don+t want to give it up because when the men are home it is the only time they can have sex. Eventually they are persuaded and they agree with Lysistrata. They proceed by capturing the Acropolis and not allowing the men in. The women put on their most reveling dresses, wear lots of make up and perfume to attract the men. They tease them and flirt with them until they can barely stand it, then leave them in the dust. The men don+t even know what happened. Eventually the men give in and make a treaty with the Spartan’s so that they can go home to their wives.

This play shows three great themes; sex, war, and the power of women. The women are the ones who finally take action. In 44 B.C. this was unheard of. Women were supposed to submit to their husbands. In this case, the husbands submitted to the ultimatum made by the wives. Men love fighting. It has been a characteristic of man since the beginning of time. Fighting gives them a sense of power and dominance. They constantly are trying to be on top. When they are faced with this proposal by the women it is hard for them to make a decision . They have to make a decision between love of war, or making peace and love. The men+s love for war was strong, yet their love for sex was greater so they gave into the women. The power the women gain from this is immense. This was a revolutionary play because it gave women the dominate over the men.

The characters in this play relate very much to todays society. Since sex is the lowest common denominator of man, the people who originally watched the play, and people who watch it now can relate. The understand what is going on only because of experience. When Myrinne is tempting Kinesias men understand how he is feeling because the had probably been heavily flirted with before by a woman. Comedy is laughing at other people+s pain because the audience is glad it isn+t happening to them. The women can laugh at Myrinne because the probably have wanted to tease a man such as she did. The audience feels bad for how hot Kinesias is getting because they know that he is going to be left.

Lysistrata is a strong woman, a very strong woman. She is the leader of the whole plot. She gets them all to stay true to their vow, and leads them through it. She is very powerful, and is a very good motivational speaker. She knows how to talk to men, and knows how to get her point across. Not only can she talk to men, but she can also get a huge group of women to be excited to give up sex for as long as it takes for the men to stop fighting. That is a pretty amazing feat. She represents all of the women who have made a difference in society. She was a pioneer in her time and paved the way for other women to stand up to their men.

Much of the play is very sexual and depending on the translation, it can become very disgusting. The overall message is very good, and with the right direction and acting can be very clear. This message of standing up for beliefs and not giving in can relate to many of todays protests. Though they may not go about the protest in the same way, they are very similar. The play was vulgar, yet the message behind it made it a very interesting, and challenging play.

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