Lysistrata

Lysistrata

by Aristophanes

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Overview

Lysistrata is a bawdy anti-war comedy by the ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes, first staged in 411 BCE. It is the comic account of one woman's extraordinary mission to end the Peloponnesian War, as Lysistrata convinces the women of Greece to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands as a means of forcing the men to negotiate a peace. Some consider it his greatest work, and it is probably the most anthologized.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780146001666
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date: 08/28/1996
Series: Classic Ser.
Pages: 64
Product dimensions: 1.00(w) x 1.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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

Aristophanes’ Lysistrata
CHARACTERS

SPEAKING CHARACTERS

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

MUTE CHARACTERS

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

CHORUS

Old War-Veterans, twelve Old Wives, twelve


SCENE I

Lysistrata
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, Calonice.º
Calonice
Hi to you, Lysistrata.
Hey, why the dirty looks? Cheer up, kiddo.
Don’t frown, you’ll wrinkle up your pretty face.
Lysistrata
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—
Calonice
And that’s the truth.
Lysistrata
—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.
Calonice
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.
Lysistrata
But they’ve got more important things to do      20
than those!
Calonice
OK, Lysistrata, suppose
you tell me why we’re meeting here. The deal.
Is it a big one?
Lysistrata
Very big.
Calonice
Not hard as well?
Lysistrata
It’s very hard.

Table of Contents

ContentsPreface 1
Map of Ancient Greece and Environs 3
Introduction 5
Aristophanes and Old Comedy 5
Lysistrata, and the Events of 411 10
Production 15
General Bibliography 17
Suggestions for Further Reading 18
Theater of Dionysos 19
Lysistrata 21

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Lysistrata 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
jasmyn9 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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
opinion8dsngr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
manirul01 More than 1 year ago
Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....!
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