Parody in Lysistrata

Topics: Gender, Classical Athens, Gender role Pages: 4 (1293 words) Published: July 4, 2012
World Lit.
21 June 2012
Parody in Lysistrata
Aristophanes was a comedy poet in the fourth century B.C. during the Peloponnesian War. In his play “ Lysistrata” he uses parody as a literary manner to build on wit and humor with a little critical attitude to direct human institutions and humanity. At first glance, the play seems to be no more than a comical story, but it was not written just for entertainment, but to also make a stand against warfare. This play is a good example of how women accomplish their aspirations, as they are aware of what men desire and they know how to fit it in their men’s lives. Aristophanes uses parody in Lysistrata to convey different themes in the story such as war and peace, life and death issues that come from war and the struggles of power between the sexes. Aristophanes used sex as a humorous tool to covey a deeper theme that consists of war and peace along with life and death. In the opening of the play, Lysistrata gathers all the women of Athens so they can come together and team up with the women of Sparta to force their husbands to end the war. “If we can meet and reach agreement…with the girls from Thebes and Peloponnese, well form an alliance and save the States of Greece” (728). She tells them of her plan to withhold sex from their husbands until the war ceases. At first the girls resist this talk as

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Kleonike says, “ I’m willing to walk through fire barefoot but not to give up sex.” However, after sometime the women realize that what Lysistrata is saying has truth to it and they all make an oath to have nothing to do with their husbands until the war is over. With this Aristophanes is using women as peacemakers and showing their natural role as nurturers, it also displays how life should be, without war. In times of peace men are at home working with their wives, but when war breaks out men are gone and the women are left all alone to do all the work which upsets the balance of daily life.

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Cited: Aristophanes. “Lysistrata.” The Norton Anthology of World Literature. 2nd Edition. Volume A. New York: New York, 2002. Print.
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