• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"Lysistrata is Funny As a Play but Not As a Character." Discuss.

Extracts from this document...


"Lysistrata is Funny As a Play but Not As a Character." Discuss. When Lysistrata is explaining to Calonice her plan, Calonice doesn't know what Lysistrata is trying to suggest, asking if its "big and meaty". Lysistrata's sense of humour comes into question here as it takes her a long time to realise that Calonice is referring not to her plan but to something else. However, the fact that Lysistrata misunderstands what Calonice is referring to for a while is funny. She is funny without realising it, by being who she is. She is very serious because believes that the war should end. This scene is funny, but Lysistrata isn't intentionally being funny. One of the first things Lysistrata says in the plays is that "you wouldn't have been able to move for all the tambourines" if what they had been asked to attend was a "Bacchic celebration...or something in honour of Pan or Aphrodite." For the purpose of comedy it is assumed that women will turn all celebrations into Bacchic ones. It also assumes that women are only really interested in wine and sex. When the Spartans arrive, Lysistrata, Myrrhine and Calonice begin to poke and prod at them, commenting them on their "beautiful colour (and) rippling muscles". ...read more.


He says that men "pander" to women's vices and that they "positively teach them to be wicked". The innuendo appears when he talks about what happens when men take women to the goldsmiths. They explain that the "pin slipped out of the hole" and that it was ok for the goldsmith to go to their house to "fit a pin in her hole". He also suggests that when they go to the shoemaker's, there is a "strapping young lad with a great strapping organ", again saying it was ok for them to go to the house to "loosen it up, (and) make the opening a little wider". He is implying that trusting women and other men to be together is impossible, and that in doing so it's no surprise that this strike and the taking over of the acropolis have happened. A scene where Lysistrata the character is funny as well as the play is when some of the women are trying to escape the Acropolis in order to find their husbands, some of them with poor excuses. One woman is apparently worried about "moths...eating (the fleeces)". There is innuendo when the woman says that she will "only spread them on he bed", to which Lysistrata replies "You're not spreading anything on any bed." The second woman says she has "forgotten to peel the bark" of her "superfine flax". ...read more.


The Spartans say they would like Pylos, describing it as a round hill, and pointing to "reconciliation's bottom". They say they have been "probing aroond it for years". The reference to the Spartan's "probing" around something represented using reconciliation's bottom is referring to the Spartans' perceived sexual tastes. The Athenians then demand the "prickly bushes and Malian Gulf" as well as the "long legs - (he) mean(s) walls of Megara". The Athenians are asking for a place called Echinus. Echinos is the Greek word for pubic hair. Therefore the Malian "Gulf" is self explanatory in the passage as it is being described as being behind the "prickly bushes". Even Lysistrata is caught out by their references. She says, trying to make sure that the two sides do not argue, not to "quarrel over a pair of legs - I mean walls." She is trying to be serious. The fact that she is caught out like that makes her funny - even if she doesn't intend to be. After this, both the Athenian and the Spartan think their job is done and say what they intend to next, the Athenian saying he is ready to "get down to some husbandry", the Spartan saying that he wants to "get stuck in the muck." These are references to agricultural practices but also are sexual connotations. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Classics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Classics essays

  1. What is the role of the chorus in "Oedipus the King" the "Lysistrata".

    stand for, or in this case stand against, wanting the war to end. The chorus of Old Men represents the male warriors who are trying to persuade the women to stop their strike and the Spartans and the Athenians were fighting against each other in the war.

  2. The portrayal of Women in The Trojan Women and Medea by Euripides and in ...

    Aristophanes uses the Koryphaios of Men, or the male chorus, here to show how men thought that women should be at home doing a woman's chores.

  1. Identification of carbonyl compounds by preparing their derivatives

    Moreover, the solubility of 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazone in this solvent must be high at high temperature and low at room temperature. Therefore, an appropriate choice would be ethanol. However, only small amount of ethanol should be used to dissolve and washed the solid.

  2. The role and status of woman in Spartan society.

    Spartan woman like Spartan men received basic education and encouraged to engage team sports singing and dancing. All to help keep them in peak physical condition. Kyniska is an example of a Spartan woman participating in such activities who became extremely distinguished due to her victories in the Olympic Games.

  1. In what way if at all does Herodotus overemphasize the role of individuals in ...

    of Artemisia', thus by deeming her worth mentioning, he immediately shows the emphasis he is going to put on her, even if she fought on the Persian side. She was the ruler of Herodotus' Halicarnassus; therefore stories about her must had been frequent in the city where he grew up as everyone admired her.

  2. In your opinion, where did the real power lie within the Spartan Constitution?

    The last type of power, Informational Power, is based on the potential use of resources which allow for expansion of knowledge. Such power can influence individuals through rational arguments, persuasion or factual information. The arguments of philosophers are a form of informational power since they serve, for the majority of

  1. Was Julius Caesar an effective leader?

    His action prevented a further invasion by Germanic tribes because he had emphasised his dominance, he was commander of a superior army. Alongside his strategy of forward defence, Caesar incorporated a rule of divide and conquer. By rewarding some tribes for their loyalty to Rome he extended his control over

  2. Did Kleon deserve his reputation as an uncultured and power-hungry demagogue?

    "new politicians" without noble ancestors, with their wealth not based on land, but on trade or crafts. Since Kleon had inherited money from his father, it was this that helped him start a remarkable political career. This in its self makes him seem as cultured as one should be when representing the Democracy.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work