About the Author
The Plays for Performance series is edited by Nicholas Rudall, former artistic director of the Court Theatre at the University of Chicago where he is professor of classics, and Bernard Sahlins, founder and director of the Second City. They both live in Chicago, Illinois.
Read an Excerpt
Lysistrata, an Athenian woman Rod, Myrrhine’s husband
Calonice, an Athenian wife Spartan Herald
Myrrhine, an Athenian wife Spartan Ambassador
Lampito, a Spartan woman Athenian Ambassador
Magistrate, an Athenian bureaucrat Athenian, friend of the
Old Women, three helpers of Lysistrata Ambassador
Athenian Wives Nurse with Rod
Foreign Wives Baby with Rod
Policewoman with Wives Reconciliation, a naked girl
Slaves with Magistrate Spartan Husbands
Police with Magistrate Athenian Husbands
Athenian Old Women Doorkeeper
Old War-Veterans, twelve Old Wives, twelve
If I’d invited them to drink some wine
or talk about the kids or go out dancing,
you’d hear the sound of high heels everywhere.
But now there’s not a single wife in sight.
Well, here’s my next-door neighbor, anyway. 5
Hi to you, Lysistrata.
Hey, why the dirty looks? Cheer up, kiddo.
Don’t frown, you’ll wrinkle up your pretty face.
I’m angry, Calonice, deeply hurt,
in fact offended by the wives, by us, 10
because, according to our husbands we’re
the best at clever schemes—
And that’s the truth.
—but when I tell them all to meet me here,
to scheme about the most important things,
they’re sleeping in and don’t show up.
They’ll show. 15
It’s not so easy getting out this early.
We’ve got to do our husbands little favors,
we’ve got to get the servants out of bed,
we’ve got to wash and feed and burp the kids.
But they’ve got more important things to do 20
OK, Lysistrata, suppose
you tell me why we’re meeting here. The deal.
Is it a big one?
Not hard as well?
It’s very hard.
Table of ContentsContentsPreface 1
Map of Ancient Greece and Environs 3
Aristophanes and Old Comedy 5
Lysistrata, and the Events of 411 10
General Bibliography 17
Suggestions for Further Reading 18
Theater of Dionysos 19
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A humorus tale of how the women of the Greek world unite to try and stop the war that is keeping their husbands away. I'm very glad that I read this, I neve realized that the humor they used would still be fitting for today's society. While some of the context was difficult to understand, such as the references to other writers and historical events, the footnotes provided in the version I read were helpful enough to help me move past it.4/5
I never thought I would laugh out loud to an Ancient Greek play, but I guess Lysistrata proves that some [edited] jokes are funny in any era. Clever, a fascinating look at ancient feminism, and witty this play was a quick and very well worth it read, even if the only premise for it is a bunch of crude sex jokes. My only major complaint is that in the translation I read (Sutherland's in Wadworth's) he tried to contemporize it by giving the Spartans almost unreadable Southern drawls and the women modern clothes. It didn't work. Aristophenes writing, however, clearly shines through.
Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....!