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Lysi Essay

  • Submitted by: kawenabikle
  • on September 20, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,159 words

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Below is an essay on "Lysi" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Aristophanes’ Lysistrata is a masterful comedy about sex, war and gender. Its main comedic device partly fails in our modern interpretation because of our more balanced views of women in the 21st century. The plot is shown to be fantasy, an absurd idea to the ancient Athenians. This then is the root of its humour. However, a few points in the play relate directly to the original audience’s lifestyle during the Peloponnesian war, and therefore are the plays link with reality, its dramatic landline for the audience.

Lysistrata deals with the sensitive and possibly offensive subject matter by parodying it. Aristophanes dodges the seriousness of war, a subject close to home for all Athenians, by making crude jokes - “There isn’t anyone to have an affair with - not a sausage!” - ll. 109. This shows the fictional element of the play, as in Aristophanes time in Athens, both women and men were known to have numerous adulterous affairs, and if the sex strike were to be successful, then the mistresses and all such people would have to be striking also. This plays on the real life frustrations of the war torn Athenians without bringing to light the darker aspects of war. In some ways, Lysistrata was designed as a form of escapism for the audience, and to poke fun at the very things causing them pain. Aristophanes ignores possible plot problems in order to present the delightfully comic idea of a sex strike. In ‘Aristophanes and Athens’, Douglas McDowell remarks that “the genuine problem of the continuing war is solved by a fantastic scheme which in real life would be impossible.”
Another way Aristophanes turns grief into laughter is by describing things in terms of the human body. This is a common method in Aristophanic plays, as metaphors or simply to talk around the subject. For example, towards the end of the play, Reconciliation is personified into the form of a beautiful young woman whom the men cannot take their eyes off. The Spartan equivalent of Lysistrata,...

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