Masculinity In Lysistrata

Improved Essays
Comparative Analysis in Lysistrata
Lines 507-520 & 360-369
I will argue that these two passages are a commentary on the state of masculinity in this play. These two passages reveal the fragility of masculinity. This fragility is revealed through their tendency for violence and aggression, poor decision-making abilities and absolute refusal to be questioned about their decisions. Aristophanes uses these passages to remark on how instead of men being the stronger sex, their fragile masculinity ultimately makes them inferior to women.
When the Councilor attempts to end the women’s siege on the Acropolis, Lysistrata confronts him on the damage men have inflicted to the society through the war. Lysistrata pokes fun at the “big boy[s]” (518). Her
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This interaction, heavy with violence and aggression, occurs between the men and women chorus leaders, each an embodiment of their respective gender. Violence toward the females is signaled through specific diction, such as ‘slapping’, ‘pound’ and ‘pummel’ (361, 364, 366). The men’s chorus leader considers the men superior to the female in matters of war, as evidenced by their reference to Euripides, a prominent misogynist. By claiming him as their “authority on women” (368), the men display clear misogynist traits. The idea of silencing women is also present in this passage. The men’s chorus leader also comments how if “somebody had done a proper job” (360), the women would be able to keep “their yappers shut” (361). When the women retort, they are met with a forceful “shut up!” (364). Again the choice of punctuation is telling. The exclamation point is a representation of the men’s anger and their attempt to finally shut down the women. The men, by effectively silencing the concerns of the women, continue to display their fragility through aggression and …show more content…
In this conversation, the women’s chorus leader sends threats of violence to the males. From “tear[ing] your balls off like a bitch” (363) to “claw[ing] your entrails out” (367), the women refuse to endure the assaults of men any longer. The men respond to these threats by displaying continued aggression. By refusing to back down from violence or seek a peaceful compromise, the men continue to harass the women. The men, at the price of their power and control over the women, seek to gain the last word or insult. This trait is problematic. As the ultimate decision makers of the war, the men display the lack of ability to stand down when required. Backing down is a blow to their masculinity and ego. By surrendering, the men believe that they secede their control and lose their credence among their Spartan counterparts. This inability is a contributing factor in the continued presence of the war throughout this play. The men are only able to respond to arguments and problems with violence, rather than logic and

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