March 17, 2014
Aristophanes’s Lysistrata shows the different types of women in society and the inequality of the sexes during Peloponnesian War. During that time, women had no political rights. There was a war going on between the Athenian and the Spartans, and the women, specifically, Lysistrata, wanted to stop it by seizing Acropolis and refusing sex from all the men in the city. Women during the Peloponnesian war were not expected to end the war, however, in the play, Lysistrata, women had the intelligence and judgment to make political decisions just like men.
In the play, Lysistrata’s behavior is not like other women. She likes to stand up for herself and not take orders from anyone. The other women are rather the opposite. They don’t care about anything once the possibility of sex is taken away from ...view middle of the document...
When Lysistrata says, “I am a woman, but I have a mind that wasn’t bad to start with” (857), she makes the point that she is just as smart as the men in the city.
Men and women have always had conflicting differences since the beginning of time and it shows in the play, Lysistrata. When it comes to war, women were never allowed to participate. Women are told that it isn’t their business to meddle in the affairs of wars. In today’s society, men and women are gaining the same amount of power, while in the past, men were the only ones with power. One thing that still remains is the sexual attention that women often receive. Women in the play are portrayed as being obsessed with wine and sex (824). In modern sense, men are always desiring and pursuing women and women are guilty in returning these affections. While this is true in today’s society, Aristophanes also add that women are tricky and deceitful, always probing for men’s weaknesses (824), which is part of the reason the women were able to end the war in the first place.
Overall, the women in Aristophane’s Lysistrata and the women in today’s society are mostly similar. It is amazing how little has changed in the many centuries about women but at least the play Lysistrata provides an example of strong women in a state dominated by men. Women have come a long way and have carved a new path for the women to come. At the end of the play, the ambassador says, “Reclaim your wives, Laconians, and we will take our own. Each woman by her man, and each man by his woman, celebrate, give thanks in joyful dances for the gods, and vow to never go so wrong again” (861). The quote points out that the women in Lysistrata made the men realized that the war is pointless and to enjoy life with their families instead. Men and women will continue to endure different treatment regardless of what day and age. Before, the equality of genders was non-existent, but now it is a work in progress and the future for women is looking up