In fact, his plays are the main source of information about him and his life. However, these facts relate almost entirely to his career as a dramatist and the plays contain few clear and unambiguous clues about his personal beliefs or his private life. Such caricatures seem to imply that Aristophanes was an old-fashioned conservative, yet that view of him leads to contradictions. An elaborate series of lotteries, designed to prevent prejudice and corruption, reduced the voting judges at the City Dionysia to just five.
These lines, spoken by Lysistrata and her friend Calonice at the beginning of the play,  set the scene for the action that follows. Women, as represented by Calonice, are sly hedonists in need of firm guidance and direction.
Lysistrata, however, is an extraordinary woman with a large sense of individual and social responsibility. She has convened a meeting of women from various city states in Greece there is no mention of how she managed this feat and, very soon after confiding in her friend about her concerns for the female sex, the women begin arriving.
With support from the Spartan Lampito, Lysistrata persuades the other women to withhold sexual privileges from their menfolk as a means of forcing them to end the interminable Peloponnesian War.
The women are very reluctant, but the deal is sealed with a solemn oath around a wine bowl, Lysistrata choosing the words and Calonice repeating them on behalf of the other women. It is a long and detailed oath, in which the women abjure all their sexual pleasures, including the Lioness on the Cheese Grater a sexual position.
Encumbered with heavy timbers, inconvenienced with smoke and burdened with old age, they are still making preparations to assault the gate when a Chorus of Old Women arrives, bearing pitchers of water. The Old Women complain about the difficulty they had getting the water, but they are ready for a fight in defense of their younger comrades.
Threats are exchanged, water beats fire, and the Old Men are discomfited with a soaking. The magistrate then arrives with some Scythian archers the Athenian version of police constables.
He reflects on the hysterical nature of women, their devotion to wine, promiscuous sex, and exotic cults such as to Sabazius and Adonisbut above all he blames men for poor supervision of their womenfolk.
He has come for silver from the state treasury to buy oars for the fleet and he instructs his Scythians to begin levering open the gate. She then explains the pity she feels for young, childless women, ageing at home while the men are away on endless campaigns.
When the magistrate points out that men also age, she reminds him that men can marry at any age whereas a woman has only a short time before she is considered too old. Outraged at these indignities, he storms off to report the incident to his colleagues, while Lysistrata returns to the Acropolis.
The debate or agon is continued between the Chorus of Old Men and the Chorus of Old Women until Lysistrata returns to the stage with some news—her comrades are desperate for sex and they are beginning to desert on the silliest pretexts for example, one woman says she has to go home to air her fabrics by spreading them on the bed.
A man suddenly appears, desperate for sex.
It is Kinesias, the husband of Myrrhine. He promptly agrees to these terms and the young couple prepares for sex on the spot.
Myrrhine fetches a bed, then a mattress, then a pillow, then a blanket, then a flask of oil, exasperating her husband with delays until finally disappointing him completely by locking herself in the Acropolis again.
The Chorus of Old Men commiserates with the young man in a plaintive song. A Spartan herald then appears with a large burden an erection scarcely hidden inside his tunic and he requests to see the ruling council to arrange peace talks. They go off to fetch the delegates; and, while they are gone, the Old Women make overtures to the Old Men.
The Old Men are content to be comforted and fussed over by the Old Women; and thereupon the two Choruses merge, singing and dancing in unison. Peace talks commence and Lysistrata introduces the Spartan and Athenian delegates to a gorgeous young woman called Reconciliation.
The delegates cannot take their eyes off the young woman; and meanwhile, Lysistrata scolds both sides for past errors of judgment. The delegates briefly squabble over the peace terms; but, with Reconciliation before them and the burden of sexual deprivation still heavy upon them, they quickly overcome their differences and retire to the Acropolis for celebrations.
Another choral song follows; and, after a bit of humorous dialogue between tipsy dinner guests, the celebrants all return to the stage for a final round of songs, the men and women dancing together. All sing a merry song in praise of Athene, goddess of wisdom and chastity, whose citadel provided a refuge for the women during the events of the comedy, and whose implied blessing has brought about a happy ending to the play.
Historical background[ edit ] Some events that are significant for our understanding of the play: The Knights won first prize at the Lenaia. Its protagonist, a sausage-seller named Agoracritus, emerges at the end of the play as the improbable saviour of Athens Lysistrata is its saviour thirteen years later.
|From the SparkNotes Blog||But he makes a lot of fart jokes, too, and those are timeless.|
|These lines, spoken by the Athenian Lysistrata and her friend Calonice at the beginning of the play,  set the scene for the action that follows. Women, as represented by Calonice, are sly hedonists in need of firm guidance and direction.|
|Four Plays: The Clouds/The Birds/Lysistrata/The Frogs by Aristophanes||Contents Table of Contents:|
|SparkNotes: Lysistrata: Summary||Lysistrata gathers the women of Sparta and Athens together to solve these social ills and finds success and power in her quest. Lysistrata is the least feminine of the women from either Athens or Sparta, and her masculinity helps her gain respect among the men.|
|I don't always love Aristophanes; he can really cram the obscure contemporary references into his stuff, which makes it sortof impossible to get the jokes.|
The Athenians and their allies suffered a catastrophic defeat in the Sicilian Expeditiona turning-point in the long-running Peloponnesian War. Both Thesmophoriazusae and Lysistrata were produced; an oligarchic revolution one of the consequences of the Sicilian disaster proved briefly successful.
Old Comedy was a highly topical genre and the playwright expected his audience to be familiar with local identities and issues. The following list of identities mentioned in the play gives some indication of the difficulty faced by any producer trying to stage Lysistrata for modern audiences.Roche's Signet Classic "Four Plays by Aristophanes" provides good contemporary translations of Lysistrata, The Frogs, A Parliament of Women, and Plutus.
Read more Published on September 26, Lysistrata is the greatest work by Aristophanes. This blank and rash statement is made that it may be rejected. This blank and rash statement is made that it may be rejected. Four Plays by Aristophanes: Lysistrata, The Frogs, A Parliament of Women, Plutus (Wealth) [Aristophanes, Paul Roche] on regardbouddhiste.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
Whether his target is the war between the sexes or his fellow playwright Euripides, Aristophanes is the most important Greek comic dramatist—and one of the greatest comic playwrights of all time. Why does Lysistrata contain so many references to spinning and weaving?. Spinning and weaving were among women's primary household tasks, even for women of the upper class.
Women spent a good deal of time and concentration on making cloth from raw wool, a painstaking process. A suggested list of literary criticism on Aristophanes's Lysistrata. The listed critical essays and books will be invaluable for writing essays and papers on Lysistrata Four Plays by Aristophanes.
Canada: First Meridian, Dover, Kenneth and Simon Tremewan. Clouds, Acharnians, Lysistrata. Aristophanes and Women. London and New York. Hysterical Laughter: Four Ancient Comedies about Women exhibits many of the interdisciplinary qualities that characterize teaching in the Classics. It is an innovative text that takes two important subfields of Classics-literature and gender studies-and brings them together into a new synthesis that provides instructors with a new and creative.