First, Lysistrata is clearly identifiable as a leader for Athenian women. In the beginning of the play, Lysistrata secretly organizes a meeting between all the women of Greece to discuss a strategy to end the Peloponnesian War "if the women will meet here - the Spartans, the Boeotians, and we Athenians - then all together we will save Greece" (Page 468, 40-42). During the meeting, which Lysistrata leads, Lysistrata suggests to the women of Greece to withhold sex from their husbands. The women are hesitant and some refuse "I won't do it! Let the war go on" states Myrrhine, an Athenian woman (Page 470, 132). However, with Lysistrata' encouragement, the women swear an oath to withhold sex from their husbands until a treaty of peace is signed. Also, throughout the play, Lysistrata continuously directs, instructs and coaches the women of Athens on how to behave. Furthermore, the men call upon Lysistrata to make the treaty between Sparta and Athens "Only Lysistrata can arrange things for us; shall we summon her?" (Page 494, 1...
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...tics. Her function in society as a heroine is portrayed throughout the play. However, the reader must consider that the play is representative of a fictitious comedy and offered no relief from war "the war continued for seven more exhausting years, until Athens's last fleet was defeated" (Page 467, Paragraph 2). Furthermore, Lysistrata is the "mastermind" of the "sex strike;" however, she does not take part in it other than directing orders. Also, due to her apparent lack of sexual desire, Lysistrata is given more respect by the men of Athens. The play's actions, characters and Lysistrata's actions all indicate her demonstration of a bold leader, unrepresentative of a traditional Athenian woman.
Aristrophanes. "Lysistrata." The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces. Maynard, Mack. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1997. 466-469.
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