A Short Analysis of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata

Posted: May 2, 2017 by vequinox in Literature

Interesting Literature

An introduction to a classic play

Lysistrata is the first female lead in a Western comedy, and this alone arguably makes Aristophanes’ play worthy of study and analysis. Lysistrata is the only one of Aristophanes’ plays to be named after one of its characters. First performed in 411 BC, the play is set during the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta, a war that had been raging for two decades by this point. The strategy which Lysistrata – whose name literally means ‘disbander of armies’ – devises to end the war is intended as a comic jumping-off point; but the play also raises important questions concerning war, power, politics, and gender.

It’s well-known that Lysistrata persuades her fellow female Athenians to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands and lovers. But this isn’t all she does, even if it is the one thing everyone knows about the play. Arguably more important…

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