Simply stated, the plot of "Lysistrata" depicts Athenian women who are fed up with the Peloponnesian War, so they barricade themselves in the Akropolis. They orchestrate a sex strike in order to force their husbands to vote for peace with Sparta.
The play's action occurs on a street in Athens in front of a gate to the Akropolis, which looms in the background. As the play begins, Lysistrata, an Athenian woman, is pacing back and forth, waiting for the women of various Greek states to gather to form an alliance for peace. Finally Kleonike, another Athenian woman, arrives. The frustrated Lysistrata complains of the women's tardiness. Eventually more women arrive including Lampito, a strapping Spartan woman; Ismenia, a pretty Boiotian girl; and a very large Korinthian woman. After greeting each other and inspecting each other's differences, Lysistrata asks all the women if they would prefer their husbands and sons home rather than out fighting a war.
She suggests a plan of sexual abstinence as a method of peaceful coercion. The women at first refuse, but Lysistrata convinces them and leads them in an oath of allegiance. As soon as the oath is completed, loud cries are heard in the distance, and Lysistrata reveals that a group of older women, under her orders, have taken over the Akropolis. Lysistrata sends Lampito to Sparta to spread the word of their feminine alliance. The rest of the women enter into the Akropolis to set up their command center. A chorus of old men enter carrying wooden logs, torches, and fire pots. The men move slowly and are weak from age, but
they plan to storm the Akropolis and punish the women who plotted against them. A chorus of old women carrying pitchers of water then enters. They confront the old...