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Lysistrata

Aristophanes

Book Overview: 

Aristophanes’ Lysistrata is the original battle of the sexes. One woman, Lysistrata, brings together the women of all Greece, exhorting them to withhold sexual contact from all men in order that they negotiate a treaty. Double entendres abound as men of Greece attempt to keep Lysistrata and her prurient gang from putting an end to the Peloponnesian war. Notably risqué, this comic drama sheds light on gender relations in ancient Athens.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Athenians:
Always too late. Why, there's not a woman
From the shoreward demes arrived, not one from Salamis.


CALONICE

I know for certain they awoke at dawn,
And got their husbands up if not their boat sails.


LYSISTRATA

And I'd have staked my life the Acharnian dames
Would be here first, yet they haven't come either!


CALONICE

Well anyhow there is Theagenes' wife
We can expect--she consulted Hecate.
But look, here are some at last, and more behind them.
See ... where are they from?


CALONICE

From Anagyra they come.


LYSISTRATA

Yes, they generally manage to come first.

Enter MYRRHINE.


MYRRHINE

Are we late, Lysistrata? ... What is that?
Nothing to say?


LYSISTRATA

I've not much to say for you,
Myrrhine, dawdling on so vast an affair.


MYRRHINE

I could. . . Read More