World Civilization 1
When Aristophanes wrote Lysistrata he gave a new perspective on the role women played in Greece. He empowered women during a time when women had very little say in society. Of course strictly fictional, Aristophanes writes about how women could end the Peloponnesian war. After years of war, Lysistrata comes up with a plan to bring peace. Through her knowledge and wit she rallies the women from Greece to deploy her plan. Lysistrata stays calm in heated arguments and keeps the women’s spirits high when they begin to flounder. Lysistrata is seen as a revolutionary for women rights, which is ironic for the time for when it was written.
The play begins with Lysistrata having a conversation with her neighbor Cleonice. They are waiting for the representative women from across Greece to arrive for the meeting. When the women arrive they all wonder why they have been called to this meeting. They are late and Lysistrata tells them that all of their reasons for being late do not compare to the importance of what she has to tell them. This is where Lysistrata takes her role as a leader for the women. She is smart, smooth talking, and reassures the women that there is good reason for their attendance. She begins to explain her business:
Don’t you feel sad and sorry because the fathers of your children are far away
from you with the army? For I’ll wager there is not one of you whose husband is
not around at this moment.
This is interesting because Lysistrata does not voice concern for herself but for all women of Greece. She does not say one thing about any lover of hers. However, all of the women agree with her and continue to listen. She tells the women that they must refrain from sex with their husbands if they really want peace. The women are totally against the idea from the start. Limpito from Sparta agrees and this is all that Lysistrata needs to convince the other women. Lysistrata coaches...