Lysistrata A Comedy Analysis

The Comedic Nature of Lysistrata On the year 411 BC, Aristophanes wrote the comedic play Lysistrata, the first anti-war play in the world. Comedy takes various forms, and the purpose of this essay is to analyze the comedic elements used in Lysistrata to determine whether it is a farce or a satire. Why is this important? Michael Moses, the president of the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics said:
“The key to adjusting the relative strengths and weakness of a particular work was for the discerning critic first to determine the generic categories to which a particular aesthetic object belonged; once that crucial task has been accomplished, the proper job of discovering the meaning and significance of a work of art could begin in earnest.”
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Corrigan explains this notion of people reconciliation in his book Greek Comedy, “… the reconciliation at the end of comedy always involves the preserving of the social context. Comedy,” he continues, “always ends in fusion and with a sense of social union” (6). As we observe in the ending of Lysistrata, the values of society are preserved and the norm is restored. This shows that Aristophanes was not trying to reform society through the play; however, he does wish for the war to end because the goal within the play, which is for Athens and Sparta to sign a peace treaty, is accomplished and serves as the only change that occurs in the end. Corrigan also argues Aristophanes is …show more content…
Albert Bermel argues in his book Farce: A History from Aristophanes to Woody Allen, “Lysistrata is a farce … It also incorporates – as do most of Aristophanes plays – a fantasy. The prospects of Greek women in the age of Socrates getting together with the wives of the enemy and putting an end to warfare seems wishful, if not unbelievable” (68). The reversal of gender roles is a way to intrigue laughter, not a means to call for reformation. Douglas M. MacDowel emphasizes in his Aristpahnes and Athens: An Introduction to the Plays, “The rest of the play is taken up with feasting, singing, and dancing” (246) because “the main theme of the play is not women … It is peace – once again”

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