Aristophanes' Lysistrata - Example of Comedy Play

Essay by priestess1971University, Bachelor'sA+, October 2004

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Aristophanes' Lysistrata is read as a play. Based during the Peloponnesian War the plot is that the women will end the war on their own. The women, sick of the endless fighting amongst the country's will make an oath amongst each other that will in essence end the war and stop the fighting.

The play opens with Lysistrata sick of the fighting, sending out messengers to the women of the warring country's. They are to meet and discuss a way to resolve the conflict of the men. Once the women have all come, the great Lysistrata spells out the plan in plain English (just meant it was quite clear) to the women. The plan is to withhold sex from their men, until a treaty is agreed upon. In the swearing of the oath, the women gather around a seemingly very large cup of wine meant to seal their oath.

The play goes on to show that the men of the country are apparently privy (how we don't know) to this plan.

Their plan is to smoke the women out of the compound they are in by bringing fire and setting the compound on fire. The women, not to be smothered so easily, quickly grab pitchers of water to extinguish the fires of the men, and they do so by pouring the water over the heads of the men.

The local magistrate comes into the picture and is in awe of the women's audacity with their backtalk and plotting against their men. He appoints several different archers as policemen to arrest the women. Each time an officer is appointed, the women cause them to back down with one threat or another.

Lysistrata goes on to add that if the men would just let the women rule the country, they would be...