A Chapter To Chapter Study Summary Of Aristophanes' Greek Comedy "Lysistrata", Exploring The Aspects Of The 'tragic Cycle'

1542 words - 6 pages

Aristophanes' LysistrataPrologueLysistrata is concerned about the present situation in Athens, where she believes the Peloponnesian war has been continuing for far too long. The audience learns through the first scene that their husbands who departed to fight the Spartans have left these Athenian women at home.Lysistrata's solution to forcing the war to end is to go on a "sex strike", by refusing to give into their husbands' requests.She hypothesizes that the Athenian men would finally have to agree to their order to cease fighting, and thus, bringing the end to the war.Lysistrata intends to have the women, both Athenian and Spartan, swear an oath to undergo her 'strike' plan, swearing by Aphrodite that they would keep their word. They perform a small religious practice consuming strong wine, not mixed with water.ParadosThe Chorus of Old Men try to evict the women, who had taken over the Acropolis, from there, using pots of fire to 'smoke' them away.They fail in their attempt as a result of the Athenian women putting out the fires with the jugs of water they brought, also covering the men in water too.Scene - Athenian magistrate, Chorus and LysistrataThe Magistrate's view on women is typically 'Athenian male' at the time: Athenian men at the time saw women as the inferior sex, who didn't have any civilian rights - there place was in the house, as the 'homemakers'. Therefore he speaks of women as weak creatures who depend upon their husbands to do everything- Including going to the shops.He orders the policemen to tie up the women to not them running loose and start obeying his commands.DebateLysistrata says the reason for the women to have seized the Acropolis was to capture the treasury, therefore taking hold of the money - 'no money, no war' - to bring an end to the war through their own hands.Husbands react negatively towards their wives' criticism of the war. They become annoyed and upset, almost bewildered as their society have brought them up to believe that women were uneducated, docile and weak to engage themselves in political affairs.Lysistrata, in regards to the war, has concerns for both married and unmarried women. She states that married women have been left to languish far from their husbands, not making the best out of their short-lasting 'youth and beauty'. She also adds that in this society, a wife's main purpose is to produce sons to fight for their city. For unmarried women, they are to waste their 'one summer', unable to find a husband as all men have gone to battle, thus walking the path to live a 'single' life until their deaths.StasimonThe Chorus of Old Men express their fear in regard to the women's seizure of the Acropolis, saying that their stable social order will slowly crumble down due to women as they gradually express their will to override the state, interfering with state issues. These men cannot bear to see mere women, the inferior sex, challenge their rights and power, as Athenian men at this time had a 'fixed'...

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