Lysistrata And Hecuba Gender Roles

1497 Words 6 Pages
In the tragedy Hecuba, the Trojan queen becomes a slave to the Greeks after the fall of Troy. Her daughter, Polyxena becomes a sacrifice to the Greek warrior, Achilles. Exacerbating her grief, she discovers that her son, Polydorus, is murdered. Hecuba avenges her son’s death, redeeming herself as a mother. Similarly, in the comedy Lysistrata, Lysistrata cultivates her feminine power to organizes a sex strike to stop the civil war between Sparta and Athens. Hecuba’s vengeance and Lysistrata’s protest are meant to ensure their identities as wives and mothers, a result of their gender roles. Despite being different genres of drama, both Lysistrata and Hecuba take action to secure their traditional roles as women and caregivers in ancient Greek.
With their men constantly at war, the women risk losing their roles in Greek society as wives and mothers, so Lysistrata devises a solution: refrain from having sex with their husbands so that, with their sexual frustration, will quickly compromise and
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The women want to carry on the family line and Lysistrata proclaims she “ache[s] for the girls” who will grow up and never marry because the men are “far from home on active service” (Aristophanes 35). With men continually at war, Lysistrata fears that girls will be childless because there will be no men to marry, either dead or at war. To ensure that young girls will marry and become mothers, securing their duties as dictated by society, they protest for men to return. In contrast to “any decrepit veteran” who can “get a child-bride,” a woman has “no chance after her prime” to bear children, which is one of the few roles of women in ancient Greece (Aristophanes 35). By explicitly affirming their need for men to fulfill their roles as mothers, the protest is not to empower women in their own agency, but rather to return to their prescribed

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