Essay On Gender Roles In Lysistrata

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. …show more content…
Conventional gender roles are reinforced within Lysistrata as the women desperately want the men to come home from war. This discourse places emphasis on women as wives, mothers, caregivers, but not as inherently valuable beings. Lysistrata rallies women from various cities to persuade them to participate in her strike to end the war. Understanding that Spartan and Athenian women both desire their husbands, she asks them if they long for their husbands, the “father of [their] children, all this time,” (Aristophanes 8). The women exclaim how the “war puts [them] to bed” alone, yearning for their men’s presence. With their husbands home, the hierarchy of power will be reestablish, which demonstrates the women’s wish to maintain their statuses as women, which is intrinsically less valued than men. By exercising their sexual power to control the men, they are able to manipulate them in order to comply to their requests: peace. Yet, the women do not seek peace for the values of peace, such as tranquility, security, and well-being. The women seek peace so that they may be wives to their husbands, mothers to their children, and also sexual satisfaction. The “young and frisky females” also want their men to return from …show more content…
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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