Essay on The Satire Of Lysistrata By William Zinsser

1036 Words Oct 18th, 2016 5 Pages
Around the year 400 BC, Aristophanes wrote the comedic play Lysistrata to convince Athenians to stop the Peloponnesian War against Sparta. The main protagonist, Lysistrata, is a brilliant Athenian woman who rallies a sex strike within Athens and Sparta in order to force a peace treaty between the two city-states. In addition to incorporating sexuality as a comedic element in his play, which the Greeks embraced as a natural side of humanity, Aristophanes also utilizes the elements: dramatic irony, absentmindedness, the dancing jack, and the snow ball. These elements, Henry Bergson argues in his book Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic, are what stimulates laughter. This essay will focus on analyzing the third scene of Lysistrata with Bergson’s ideas of comedic elements as well as excerpts from William Zinsser’s book On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction and Gilbert Highet’s lecture notes The Anatomy of Satire. Bergson calls dramatic irony “the reciprocal interference of series,” which he states that “a situation is invariably comic when it belongs simultaneously to two altogether independent series of events and is capable of being interpreted in two entirely different meanings at the same time” (Bergson 48). These two interpretations are caused by the audience knowing information which is unknown to the characters in a story. Therefore, the audience will react differently to certain incidences compared to what the characters actually do. In the…

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