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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

Community Reviews

It had been quite awhile since I contemplated over any books let alone penning a critical appraisal on Goodreads. It was tough trying to get words out of the overwhelming emotional vortex; an obstinate ketchup bottle ignoring the need of a fried potato for the tangy goodness. So, when Brian sugge...more

Lysistrata

Some Greek men, you’ll discover,
Being a lesser lover
Than a renderer of war,
Treat their wives much like a whore.

So one day, Lysistrata,
Equipped with all the data,
Reckoned upon a tactic
To withhold love climactic.

She aimed to end all conflict
With some cohorts she had picked,
To flaunt breas...more

In the introductory note in my edition a Mr. Crofts mentions that the play "is notorious for its racy, almost pornographic humor". I'd say that this seems to be a bit of an overstatement.

Surely it is not that much more racy than say a William Shakespeare play or for that matter The Arabian Night...more

“Non esistono al mondo creature più sfrontate delle donne.” - (v. 369)

La guerra ventennale tra Atene e Sparta è diventata logorante per tutti ma gli uomini sono ciechi e sordi di fronte alla ragione e se nessuno li ferma continueranno a trucidarsi.
La scena si apre proprio su Lisistrata (” inq...more

Why do we live under the impression that the Greeks were such serious philosophers, when one of their favorite past-time was listening to dick jokes? I loved this, I do enjoy the occasional dick joke. One has to read this and play it in one's mind at the same time...more

How old is the idea of women withholding sex from men to get what they want? Well, apparently as far back as 405 BC, because that's what happens in this hilarious (and bawdy) Greek comedy. In this play it was "en masse"' with the singular purpose of bringing peace between the warring Athenians an...more

Σκληρός πολιτικός σχολιασμός μέσω του χιούμορ.Δυναμικές γυναίκες που υποστηρίζουν τη θέση τους στην κοινωνία και το δικαίωμα να έχουν λόγο στις αποφάσεις.Βαθιά αντιπολεμικό.Εξαιρετικό!
Αν έχετε μια κάποια άνεση με τα αρχαία ελληνικά,δοκιμάστε να διαβάσετε το αρχαίο κείμενο παράλληλα με τη μετάφρασ...more

This was hilarious. Women withholding sex until all the men stopped the war. What an imaginative idea. I especially liked how the women fought against their own desires despite being in heat. Several laugh out loud moments for me.

I wouldn't be surprised if Lysistrata was the first sex comedy (that's a genre, right?). Sex (or lack there of ) drives the plot and innuendos abound:

Lysistrata: But I tell you, here's a far more weighty object.
Calonice: What is it all about, dear Lysistrata, that you've called the women hither i...more

TV Commercial: Does your husband and the men of Athens just want to wage war? Do they ignore your pleas for peace no matter how long the Peloponnesian War has been going on? Tired of your men's stupid decisions in such a trying time? Do you wish to end it? Well women of Athens, you are in luck, w...more

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