Monday, November 17, 2008

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, I think Lysistrata was the winner by a nose for my favorite reading so far, followed closely by Hedda Gabler, and with The House Of Bernarda Alba a distant third. I think what I liked the most about Lysistrata(the play) was the Lysistrata(the person) was able to effectively gain power without losing control of her own life. It was certainly a welcome change from the sombreness of the previous two plays.

Battle Of The Sexes

There is a dominant theme of the battle of the sexes throughout Lysistrata. The whole play, the women are fighting not only to secure peace, but also to secure some more power for themselves. I don't think that they necessarily want to wield power, I think that they just want the men to know that they could wield power if they wanted, and I think that they accomplished it quite effectively.

Behind Every Great Man Is A Great Woman

Lysistrata really demonstrates this throughout the play. The men when the women would just sit at home and agree with what the men said, it led to war between the states. However, as soon as the women step out from their subservient spot in the house, they immediately begin to fix what the men have broken. Without the women to help guide them, it seems likely that the war would have continued.


Lets look at the wool for a second shall we? This is really an interesting metaphor. The wool represents the Greecian states, but thats fairly obvious. The part that I thought was the most interesting was the spin that Lysistrata puts on the states. She uses this idea of spinning to get her plan for ending the war across to the commissioner, but at the same time implies that women are the only ones who could possibly fix Greece. At least thats what I thought, because traditionally women are the ones who spin the wool into yarn and weave the clothes. If Greece is a piece of wool, how could a man possibly spin it into a cloth without the help of women?


I thought that it was interesting how different yet similar Lysistrata was to The previous two plays. All center around a very masculine type woman, who manipulates others to accomplish her desires. In The House Of Bernarda Alba, it was Bernarda controlling her daughters to keep up her appearences in the town. In Hedda Gabler it was Hedda, who controlled basically anyone she could in order to feel alive. In Lysistrata, it was Lysistrata who controlled the other women to bring about peace. The main difference between Lysistrata and the other two is that she was able to retain her femininity as well as accquire masculine traits.

Everything But The Kitchen Sink

Shawn Spencer: Good morning detectives, collecting money for the Policemen's Ball?

Detective Lassiter: We don't have balls

Shawn Spencer: ...I honestly have no response to that.

Apparently police have come a long way since ancient Greece. They're attempt at taking the Acropolis from the women was, quite frankly, embarassing. Turned away by women wielding household items? Really?

The real importance of this I think is to show that the women are throwing off their traditionals roles in the house. No longer are they just spinning or cleaning, agreeing with whatever their husbands say. They are becoming women with voices, and women with fists. They demonstrate that not only do they have power through sex, but they are also physically powerful.

As George Sr. Once Said...

"Daddy horny Micheal."
George Senior, Arrested Development, Season 1
Would abstinence work today as a means of bringing about change? Obviously organizing a boycott on sex in today's world would never work the way that it did in Lysistrata, due to the number of women, enterprising young women that realize the potential to make large sums of money, etc. The premise however, I think could still work. It may not bring about any type of world peace or anything, but if somehow someone were able to organize a large group of women, it may at least bring about a little bit more equality among men and women when men see that women do hold some powers that men don't have.


I'll start by stating the obvious: Lysistrata is the leader of the abstinence movement. Of course she is, if she weren't the play wouldn't be named after her. The fact that she is the leader of the movement puts her in a unique position among the women. It places her into a role typically reserved for men, a role of power. I don't think that this alone is anything too interesting, after all many women have been in this type of position through out history. What I found intersting about it was the fact that Lysistrata almost becomes too masculine in her role. For instance, on page 21 Lysistrata says
"Hello, Lampito dear. Why darling, you're simply ravishing! Such a blemishless complexion-so clean, so out-of-doors! And will you look at that figure-the pink of perfection!"
Here she has not only gained some masculinity from her power, but executed a nearly complete inversion of traditional gender roles, and is appraising Lampito much the same as a man might. I think that Lysistrata's ability to accquire the traits of the traditional man are a large part of what allowed her to keep the boycott alive and ultimately achieve peace.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

No Love Lost

It was brought up today for our journal whether the women would have given in had the men not given in first, and I think that its worth posting my thoughts here as well. And it takes up one more of my posts...

I think that had the men not given in first, the the women would most certainly have given in. I also think that would have given in sooner rather than later, and I think that there is a substantial amount of evidence in the text that supports this as well. In the beginning of the paly, when Lysistrata has gathered all the women together and first told them about her plan, Kleonike says, "Afraid I can't make it. Sorry. On with the war!" This shows that the boycot from sex was extremely difficult for the women as well. What I thought was intersting though was not that the boycot was difficult for the women as well, but why they were able to silence their feelings longer than the men. This ability is accounted for by the fact that the men had nothing to gain from the abstinence, whereas the women were fighting for the end of the war.