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Of Aristophanes' 11 plays that are still extant, Lysistrata is perhaps his most famous. Certainly the play's contemporary popularity stems not a little from the fact that it resonates sympathetically with many of the scholarly concerns that have increased in importance since the rise of the feminist and post-feminist critical movements. The basic dramatic action of the play is quite simple. In response to the ongoing Peloponnesian war between Athens and Sparta, Lysistrata organizes the women of Athens to protest against the war, which continues to kill their husbands and sons. The manner of the protest is interesting, indeed. It is a sort of boycott -- in this case, the women state that they will not engage in any sexual relations with their husbands until the war is brought to a close. The conceit that begins the play and moves its dramatic action forward seems at first absurd. Indeed,…… [Read More]
Lysistrata, Oedipus Rex, And a Raisin in the Sun on the Issue of Social Influence
This is an illustration of the role of social, family and individual influence in the three plays, focusing on how influence changed the lives of the protagonists of Aristophranes' Lysistrata, Sophocles' Oedipus Rex and Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun. It uses 7 sources and is in MLA format.
Every individual is at some point of his life influenced either by someone or by society. This influence totally changes him for the better or for the worse. The impact totally transforms the individual to such an extent that he is a completely different person. The inspiration is so great and effective that there is a revolutionary change in the individual and he becomes a new individual altogether. However, the change could be for the better or for the worse. The influence could be negative in…… [Read More]
"The world is full of foreigners you could fight, / but it's
Greek men and cities you destroy!" she cries, to inspire the Spartans and Athenians to fight the barbarians at the gate, not one another. (1112) Lysistrata also reminds both Athenians and Spartans how both sides have helped one another -- the Athenians from a slave rebellion, and the Athenians saved the Spartans although democrats were oppressed by the Persian tyranny until the Spartans helped them.
Thus, the play "Lysistrata" is not about the evils of war in general but the specific evils of Greeks fighting Greeks in civil wars, when they should be united against common enemies like the tyrannical Persians, as depicted by Herodotus when Spartans and Greeks fought against the tyrant Darius. This is blatantly stated in the words of the Spartan Ambassador, at the end of the play: "Holy Memory, reveal/the glories of yore:/how
Spartans…… [Read More]
Thomas could have been much more in-depth and comprehensive in his approach, but perhaps felt that it was not his duty to include to much in his writings. It seems as if he opted to travel the road less traveled by allowing the reader to come to his/her own conclusion deciding the effectiveness of Aristophane and Lysistrata.
Crofts does inform the reader that the play "is coarse and blunt in its expression," (v) yet the simplistic form adapted by Aristophane made the play simpler in its approach and left the reader with a pleasant taste in the mouth, rather than a taste of 'having to wash' one might normally feel based on the sexuality that is quite blatant in the play. Thomas Crofts makes the point that the type of language contained in the play "corresponds to the bluntness, the casualness of the deaths that overtook so many Athenian men…… [Read More]
Magistrate The why do you turn aside and hold your cloak
So far out from your body? Is your groin swollen
The humor in this passage pertains to the fact that the Herald has an erection. The reason he has an erection, of course, is because Lysistrata's plan is working and the women in Sparta have not had sex with the men. This produces the hilarious effect of the men walking around with huge erections that they cannot appease without the consent of their women. There are other specific facets of this passage that make a mockery of war as well. For instance, the Magistrate assumes the herald's erection is a lance -- which is a clever way of Aristophanes using war as a metaphor for sex. The implications of this passage, of course, is that without sex there is very little important in the world -- especially war and…… [Read More]
"Lysistrata" is funny, but it makes a point. Women have brains, too, and want to be included in important decisions by the government. Pushing women aside, as the men of Athens and ome did, can only lead to trouble in the end, as these two works clearly indicate.
If Aristophanes is biased, it seems he favors the women's demands for peace. He makes the Commissioner look ridiculous by having the women turn him into a woman, and he makes the women much more quick-witted and funny. It seems he designed the play to highlight women and their powers, while Livy showed real history with a decidedly male-oriented bias. He presents both arguments in his essay, but he uses words that indicate he thinks the women should stay where they are and stop running around outside their homes, making demands and causing trouble. In addition, Livy does not give any of…… [Read More]
Lysistrata as an example of a pre-modern display of feminism in action, the foundations of the work demonstrate scheming and interfering women. War was serious business for men and women who had both the power and the desire to interfere with it would not have been thought of kindly. Though this work by Aristophanes is clearly thought of as a comedy, being compared to bawdy works of the burlesque period it is also a depiction of the power that women had over men to guide and control them. (Seldes & Aristophanes, 1930, p. x-xi) Seldes also makes celar that the work is often interpreted in depiction, "as a propagandist work for both pacificism and the rights of women" (Seldes & Aristophanes, 1930, p. ix) In some depictions this idea is secondary to Aristophanes concept of war and its destructive nature but it is nonetheless one of two foundational themes of…… [Read More]
He will gain wisdom and eventually come home to his wife only after he went through ten years of experiences that contributed to his formation.
Odysseus' crew on the ship and the women kept prisoners at the Akropolis are equally blinded by their own desires and ready to give up their sense of duty or responsibility to those they made a commitment.
Another striking difference between the two plays when it comes to sense of duty compared to personal satisfaction or love comes from the fact that the characters in the Lysistrata have to fight only their own urges and they are led by someone who is above all temptation, while those who are fighting to return home in the Odyssey are fighting not only their own weaknesses but also all the obstacles thrown before them by the immortals. Moreover, their leader, the man they look up to is as…… [Read More]
gender roles in Ancient Greece, as portrayed in Lysistrata
Gender roles in Ancient Greece are at the core of Aristophanes' work of drama entitled Lysistrata. This play takes place during the critical time period in which the Peloponnesian ar has devastated a significant part of Greece. It is largely satirical in its depiction of gender roles, and portrays men and women at odds with one another regarding a number of different matters, most notably the waging of the war itself. In many ways, the conventional roles ascribed to each gender are reversed within Lysistrata. The women, who were largely subservient to the needs and whims of the men, are more assertive and proactive, while the men are oftentimes foiled by and subjected to the volition of the women. Interestingly enough, the author manages to intersect this satirical portrayal of gender roles with an anti-war sentiment that animates the women and…… [Read More]
Love Got to Do With it: A Critical Analysis of Hippolytus and Lysistrata.
If one reads Hippolytus and Lysistrata, one may immediately conclude that love has 'nothing' to do with anything. Many Greek plays discuss the subject of love in obtuse ways. Love is often the driving force of Greek tragedies, thought to inspire, incite and even enrage in many cases. While love is an important concept and theme, it is not always presented in a positive light in many plays. This is certainly the case in Hippolytus and Lysistrata, which at best suggest that love is unnecessary or tragic.
Hippolytus written by Euripides does so remarkably well, suggesting that love is something that can not only be manipulated by the Gods, but also something that is less tangible in some cases than passion and lust.
Lysistrata, written by Aristophanes, puts sex and power on a pedestal above love suggesting…… [Read More]
The fact that Lysistrata's "came to power" by virtue of her own leadership abilities which were recognized and celebrated by their peers rather than having them thrust upon her from above is pointed out by Ober (1989), who reports, "The Athenians' demonstrated concern with native intelligence, their distrust of elite education, and their respect for the authority of the elders are parodied by Aristophanes, who mimics rhetorical topoi in the speech of Lysistrata, the female demagogue:
Listen to my words
I am a woman, but I'm smart enough
Indeed, my mind's not bad at all.
Having listened to my father's discourses
And those of the older men, I'm not ill educated. (Lysistrata 1123-27 quoted in Ober at 182)
Indeed, Lysistrata's leadership qualities were clearly demonstrated in her ability to organize the women of Athens to show the warring men of the city just who in fact had "the power" suggests…… [Read More]
omen in Ancient Tragedy and Comedy
Both the drama of Euripides' "Medea" and the comedy of Aristophanes' "Lysistrata" seem unique upon a level of even surface characterization, to even the most casual students of Classical Greek drama and culture. Both in are female-dominated plays that were produced by male-dominated societies and written by men. Both the drama and the comedy features strong women as their central protagonists, whom are depicted under extreme circumstances, in relatively positive lights. And both plays, despite their very different tones, also have an additional, unique feature in that they show 'the enemy' -- or the non-Greek or non-Athenian, in a fairly positive and humane fashion.
The sympathies of the viewer for female's plights are immediately arisen by Aristophanes from the first scene of "Lysistrata," as Cleonice, the friend of Lysistrata, and a common Athenian housewife states, regarding the lateness of the other women that frustrates…… [Read More]
Aristophanic invective against a rival dramatist: the fragment from the lost Lemnian omen included in Henderson's edition as number 382, attested to in two separate ancient sources (suggesting it was considered a particularly choice joke):
Because it is a pun made on the name of the tragedian Dorillus or Dorilaos -- we are not sure of the spelling, since none of his work survives and the pun in Aristophanes' fragment is the chief testimony to his work -- Henderson finds a novel solution for translating this untranslatable joke: "the women fence off their pussy shelleys" (Henderson 291). As a hint to the plot of the lost Lemnian women, the sense of sexual pleasure being deliberately withheld, as in Lysistrata, seems to adhere to this particular fragment: but indeed Martin (1987), in an important article on the use of the mythology of Lemnos and Lemnian women within Lysistrata, indicates that the…… [Read More]
Heroic Ideal Greece, ome
An Analysis of the Heroic Ideal from Ancient Greece to oman Empire
The mythopoetic tradition in Greece begins with Homer's Iliad, which balances the heroic figures of Achilles and Hector, two opposing warriors and men of honor, amidst a war on which not even the gods are in agreement. Hector and Achilles mirror one another in nobility and strength and both represent an ideal heroic archetype of citizenry -- men who do battle to honor both their countries and their names. To illustrate, however, the way the ideal of heroic citizenship changes from the Greek mythopoetic tradition through to the late Stoicism of oman imperialism, it is necessary to leap ahead several centuries and survey the several different bodies of work.
The mythopoetic tradition in Greece somewhat continually dwells on the same themes with regard to heroic citizenship, whether in Homer or in the Golden Age…… [Read More]
history of events in the twentieth century, one might surmise that the twenty-first may not be all that different. Why? ecause human nature and the pursuit of self-interest has not changed from one century to the next. To explain what drives international relations, Joshua Goldstein provides a brief history of the world, in addition to information about the geographical features and the consequences of different nation's economies. (Goldstein, 2003) The beginning of the twentieth century was marked by relative peace in the world. The Franco-Prussian wars were at least three decades into the past. Nobody would envision that the worst horrors of a global scale wars were in the near future. In as much as Goldstein avers that the First World War was wholly unnecessary and it was, at least in its inception, a macho exercise (p. 37), one can believe that war is part of human nature.
After the…… [Read More]
Either as mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, mistresses, lovers or supernatural creatures, women populate the world of the Odyssey and bring thus an important source of information when it comes to finding parallels between their representations in real life as drawn from the representations they get in the Homeric epic.
Based on the same starting point as the Odyssey, another ancient author, the Roman irgil wrote the epic Aeneid. He lived in the most flourishing times of the Roman empire, in the first century BC, almost seven centuries after the Odyssey and the Iliad had probably been written. The heroes in irgil's epic are still men, but the women gain a new role: that of sounders and rulers. Analyzing the whole range of epics and poems written by ancient Greek and Latin writers, A.M. Keith points out that "classical Greek and Latin epic poetry was composed by men, consumed largely by…… [Read More]
This play, the first by a black playwright to show on Broadway, was a moving reflection of black family life that had great popular appeal (Sidney pp). Poitier's performance was such a critical success that he was asked to star in the movie adaptation in 1961 (Sidney pp). In 1963, his performance in "Lilies of the Field" won him the Academy Award for Best Actor, the first black man to ever win the Oscar (Sidney pp). This success was followed by an electrifying performance in Norman Jewison's "In the Heat of the Night" (Sidney pp). Then, Poitier took on one of the greatest taboos of the time, interracial romantic relationships, in "Patch of Blue," and "Guess ho's Coming to Dinner," thus, by the end of the 1960's. Poitier was one of Hollywood's most popular stars (Sidney pp).
Poitier went on to direct "Buck and the Preacher," "Uptown Saturday Night," "Let's…… [Read More]
How could that be true when that child was left in the woods to die?
Oedipus is calmed, but he still sets out to solve the murder-mystery and punish the man who committed regicide. As more details come to the surface, however, Oedipus starts to get a bad feeling. The evidence indeed points to him: Laius, he learns, was slain at the same crossroads where Oedipus took the lives of a group of men. as Laius among them? Apparently so…as Oedipus also learns that he was the babe whom Jocasta and Laius abandoned -- and indeed has grown up to ruin the house by killing his father and marrying and having children with his mother Jocasta. Jocasta (sensing that this might be the case) had pleaded for Oedipus to halt the investigation, but determined to know the truth, Oedipus called the herdsman who found him tied to a tree to…… [Read More]
If Oedipus had controlled his temper instead, he might have averted his awful fate. Sophocles uses this parable to make a statement about man's responsibilities. Even today, people are continuously making choices that have negative impacts on their own lives, yet they shirk any blame or responsibility for the fruits of those choices. Sophocles shows us that Oedipus is not a victim of the whims of the gods, but a victim of his own actions. Sophocles uses Oedipus to make social commentary on the self-denial of the common man. In modern times, we see this reflected in the attitudes of the average American- we constantly seek to place the blame for our misfortunes on external sources instead of acknowledging our own contributions to those misfortunes.
As much as Oedipus is a victim of his own actions, he is a victim of his emotions. He carries the anger and resentment of…… [Read More]