Feminism In Lysistrata

1247 Words 5 Pages
Aristophanes’ was a bold and a strong, sexual, and very opinionated man which he had reflected in his comedy play, “Lysistrata”. This comedy was quite the hit with many Athenian men for the simple fact that Lysistrata is a woman who was able to annihilate the Peloponnesian War with the help of women from different city-states, including Sparta. The Peloponnesian War that was between Athens and Sparta had begun over jealousy of each other’s power in Greece and had lasted from 431 to 404 BC. Aristophanes’ first viewed the play in 411 BCE. Women, for many centuries in Athens, were taught that they couldn’t have any rights of their own. Women were expected to maintain household functions regarding cooking, cleaning, finances, sewing and taking …show more content…
Lysistrata is extremely fed up with the war, and hatches a plan to stop it, but needs the help of other women in order for the plan to work. She calls women from many city-states to help her in a plan that will drive husbands to insanity; a sex strike. Many women agree to this plan, but after a while, women were also craving the sex with their husbands and tried to make excuses to go off to find the men. Lysistrata caught on, and scolded the women for attempting to break the deal by sneaking off with the men. In order for the plan to work best, women were to dress up in a very sexual manner and pretty themselves up with makeup in order to drive the men wild. And, the plan worked. Lysistrata also comes up with a plan to take control of the treasury, resulting in a money cut off from the war, located in Acropolis, which is the center of Athens. In Acropolis, men, called the Chorus of Men, begin to show up with fire to try and get the women out of Acropolis. After the Chorus of men show up with fire, a Chorus of Women show up with water, drenching the men. After this conflict between the two Chorus’s, a man shows up, named Cinesias, who is very erect, looking for his wife for sex. The wife “gives in”, and as it seems as though they are about to have sex, she complains that she needs something, whether it’s a mattress or even perfume, she must have it. …show more content…
Women were literally able to control the men due to a sex-strike. These women were able to stop a war and create peace because many men were fed up with not receiving anything from the women. The author is trying to tell us through the characters that women are smart and don’t need men in order to have their own thoughts. This was shown in the play by how the women created the strike by themselves and their plan followed through. The message that Aristophanes is conveying is that women literally out-thought the men. Women deserve rights and they’re smarter than the men think they are. This type of power is shown when Myrrhine leads her husband on, thinking they were going to have sex, and she leaves right after she gets everything she “needed” for herself. Although this is power of the males, this is also power towards the women because although the women wanted sex too, Myrrhine overcame her wants and had a sense of self-control by leaving her husband by himself. Aristophanes chose a woman as a protagonist in his play, and gave her the lead role, because he wanted people to see women could be powerful, that they could make their own decisions instead of cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the house all day. These women were able to take over a building, plan a victory, defeat a Chorus of Men, over-rule the husbands, and end up making peace between Athens and Sparta. I also believe that

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