Comparative Study- Death and the Maiden and Lysistrata

Topics: Rape, Sexual intercourse, Ariel Dorfman Pages: 3 (1150 words) Published: November 12, 2008
Studying and analysing two plays that have been written with different perspectives and ideas causes one to wonder why and how they might be so similar or diverse when dealing with a specific topic. Lysistrata by Aristophanes is written in 410 B.C.E. while Death and the Maiden by Ariel Dorfman is written in 1991. It is surprising when one can find similarities in both works even though they are written in entirely different times. Over the generations, women are known to obtain power through their sexuality. The use of sexuality by women as a tool either leading them to success or failure has been a trait that we see since the beginning of the human evolution. This characteristic of women transcends from millions of years ago till the 21st century- today. When comparing Lysistrata and Death and the Maiden, one may become aware of the fact that sexuality of women is very vivid in both works. In both works, women are treated as sex objects. In Lysistrata, the women are expected to look after the household, the children and satisfy their husbands when they return from war. “Lysistrata: If someone had invited them to a festival of Bacchos, say; or to Pan’s shrine, or to Aphrodite’s…But now not a women in sight! ... Lysistrata: …Really, I don’t blame the men for what they talk about us.” (Dudley Fitts, Prologue, 1). Lysistrata has called a meeting with the women of Greece. However, they all arrive late. In the above quotes, Lysistrata is telling the audience that women at that time are used as sex objects and must obey their husbands. This introduces a scenario of God (man) and slave (woman). In Death and the Maiden, Paulina is raped and tortured when the country was under dictatorship. She is tortured by the people that work for the Commission. After several years of looking for the rapist and not being able to trust anyone, Doctor Miranda (the rapist) comes to Paulina’s door. All Paulina asks for is justice and wants the rapist to confess. However, in the country...
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