I'm positively ashamed to be a woman- a member of a sex which can't even live up to male slanders! To hear our husbands talk, we're sly, deceitful, always plotting, monsters of intrigue..." she says, leading up to her climatic decision to withhold sex. Almost all of her dialogue is a pro-feminist diatribe about the need for more female involvement in society Lysistrata has likewise made arrangements with the more seasoned women of Athens also known as the Chorus of Old Women to grasp the Akropolis later on that day. Those women from the different districts at last gather and Lysistrata persuades them to make a solemn vow that they will withhold sex from their spouses until both sides sign an arrangement of peace. As the women relinquish a jug of wine to the Gods in a festival of their vow, they hear the resonances of the more established women taking the Akropolis, the fortification that houses the treasury of Athens.
The striking contrast between women’s role in Ancient Greece and the way they are portrayed in Antigone, made me think; what was the real reason behind men’s need to try to control women. Could it be that in fact the fierce and passionate nature of women, caused men to be intimidated and even scared of them? Women’s life in Ancient Athens is a widely researched subject. In the book “Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves” Sarah B. Pomeroy describes in detail women in Ancient Greece. She also arises the question of the difference between the image of obedient and repressed women in Greek society and the forceful heroines of Greek Tragedy.
Thusly, a battle of the sexes ensues with the “Chorus of Old Women” proving to be the winners. The attempts to arrest the women are thwarted, leaving the men speculating “how this ferocity [could] be tamed.” Lysistrata continues to berate the men, detailing her silence though “well all the while [Lysistrata] knew” of the politics of war. She commands the men to “hold tongue” and “listen while [the women] show the way to recover the nation.” She compares the repair of Greece to the tasks daily preformed by women, those “trivial tricks of the household, domestic analogies of threads, skeins and spools”, in order to “unwind such political problems.” The men retreat, pride intact but slowly
Aristophanes play Lysistrata takes place during the Peloponnesian War and the women of Greece are tired of their men being at war. Greek women want to preserve the traditional way of life in their community. With this in mind, Lysistrata calls all the women of Greece together and devises a plan. She argues that if the women all participate in two activities, their men will end the war. Her proposals are that the women hold a sexual strike against the men.
“Lysistrata” is a tale which is centered around an Athenian woman named Lysistrata and her comrades who have taken control of the Acropolis in Athens. Lysistrata explains to the old men how the women have seized the Acropolis to keep men from using the money to make war and to keep dishonest officials from stealing the money. The opening scene of “Lysistrata” enacts the stereotypical and traditional characterization of women in Greece and also distances Lysistrata from this overused expression, housewife character. The audience is met with a woman, Lysistrata, who is furious with the other women from her country because they have not come to discuss war with her. The basic premise of the play is, Lysistrata coming up with a plan to put an end to the Peloponnesian War which is currently being fought by the men.
Through the use of comedy this play demonstrates the absurdity of women acting like men and the play shows how dangerous situations can get when people change too abruptly. Internal conflict weakens both the city-state and the gender relationships. In the play Lysistrata, the citizens of Athens try to put an end to the Peloponnesian war. The men were unable to agree on any sort of peace treaty and were at a stalemate. The women in Athens had had enough of war and wanted harmony to exist between Athens and the neighbouring cities.
However, they also pose a threat to the structure of Theban politics. Pentheus feels threated both politically and personally due to the, “insolent hybris of the Bacchae, a huge humiliation to Greeks” (779). The humiliation is not only towards Greeks a whole, and due to Pentheus's power he is looked poorly on due to these women. The fact that women overruled men, the serving class uprooting from the served, ensues a chaos which creates a loss of faith to Pentheus's constitutents. Since political destruction is not an outcome Pentheus wants, he must supress the female rebellion.
In the Greek comedy Lysistrata, both Athenian and Spartan women decreed that they do not agree with the civil war takin... ... middle of paper ... ...my neck be straightaway be deservedly wrung.” The previous statement by the Magistrate obviously gives one the idea that men would writhe at the thought of a woman trying to take control of a situation, especially a war. Women of the Peloponnese were held to lower standards in men. The Lysistrata is a comical play, but gives its readers imagery on how women were treated and expected to behave in ancient Greece. In times before the twentieth century the view of women was much the same as the Greeks, even in what Americans call the “land of the free”, AKA the United States. It may be hard for a feministic person to read, but the way women were valued and controlled in Greece is not all that suprising.
In ancient Greece, women lacked many of the fundamental rights held by men. Medea feels that this is unjust. These feelings are shown on page 195 when Medea states “...we must pay a great dowry to a husband who will be the tyrant of our bodies; and there is another fearful hazard: whether we shall get a good man or a bad. For separations bring disgrace on the woman and it is not possible to renounce one’s husband…” After being rejected by the one she loved, she beings to question the morals of those around her. She assumes that Greek women are weak and naive for allowing men to treat them this way; allowing men to cast them away at their heart’s content.
Aristophanes realized that audiences don’t come to plays to be preached at but to be entertained. To this end, he uses comedy and comical characterizations to delight the spectators/readers. The principal form of comical characterization he depended on was stereotyping. As the main theme of the play, the female stereotype of woman’s only power base being sex was strongly employed. The main character Lysistrata and all the women in Greece band together to essentially take over the city states to end the Peloponnesian war.