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Assess the leadership qualities of Lysistrata in Aristophanes 'Lysistrata'

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Introduction

Assess the leadership qualities of Lysistrata in Aristophanes 'Lysistrata' 'Lysistrata' written in 411BC is the third and last of Aristophanes' 'peace plays' that we possess today. Unlike the other two, 'The Acharnians' and 'Peace', 'Lysistrata' is a dream about peace. The title character (or hero) of the play whose name means 'she who disbands armies'- Lysistrata presents her plan to end the war, her method is straightforward until there is peace there will be no more sex. The united women will dress in their most alluring clothes and yet refuse all amatory advances. Furthermore, the older women will seize the Acropolis and Athena's temple, which holds the funds for Athens war effort. However Lysistrata has to use all her cunning to get the women to agree to such a plan. Throughout the beginning of the play we see Lysistrata display many leader like qualities such as organisation, manipulation and persuasion, passion for her aims, boldness and an ability to incite passion in others. ...read more.

Middle

Her anger and disappointment, which is shown when the women fail to turn up at first for the meeting- "I'm furious. I'm really disappointed in all womankind'- clearly shows her passion for peace to be obtained. Her passion for peace is further shown in her cutting comments towards those who do not take it seriously, for example when the women refuse to denounce sex- "I didn't realise that we women were such a total lot of nymphos." It is these cutting words combined with her manipulation of the other women that slowly wins round those that disagree- MYRRHINE: "Well if you really think it's a good idea-the we agree." Thirdly, as before mentioned Lysistrata to a great extent uses manipulation and persuasion to win round the women to her view, showing great leadership qualities. She tells the women her aims-"would you be prepared to join me in putting a stop to the war?"- and allows them to make their promises-"even if I had to cut myself in two, like a flatfish ...read more.

Conclusion

Would she have had the same boldness to attempt by uniting all women to end the war? However it is unfair to say that Lysistrata is completely different to all the other women there, she does show many womanly and humane qualities for example her awe over Lampito's physic and colour, whilst I have before mention her many cutting comments it is here we see her complimenting her fellow women. It could be thus argued that Lysistrata has increased her good leadership qualities by being both somewhat separate in her passions to the other women and being identifiable in the friendly manner in which she introduces herself to the other women especially Lampito. In conclusion Aristophanes has shown Lysistrata's good leadership qualities such as organisation, manipulation and persuasion, her own passionate way of speaking and her ability to incite passion in others in a well rounded manner that makes her both identifiable to the other women and stand out as an independent, outwardly thinking leader. Helen Edwards Classical Civilisation Lysistrata 1 ...read more.

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