Lysistrata Gender Roles

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Aristophanes wrote Lysistrata to entertain and amuse audiences. Lysistrata takes place in Athens during the prolonged Peloponnesian War between Spartan and Athenian warriors. The play was mainly concerned with the idiocy of a war fought among natural allies. In other words, the war between Athens and Sparta was an exercise in stupidity; a senseless waste of people and resources. Although the play is superficially a demonstration of low and high comic dimensions, it also considers profound philosophical themes. In Lysistrata, Aristophanes explores gender roles, war, power, and corruption thought out the play. In ancient Greece, women were expected to remain at home, rear children, cook meals, and care for the household; it is a male-dominant society. Women would not have dared such a bold overthrow of social roles. This fact made…show more content…
They fall back on excuses revolving around their stereotypical gender roles, such as Cleonice’s response to Lysistrata’s small showing at the beginning when she says, “Oh! They will come, my dear; but it’s not easy, you know, for women to leave the house. One is busy pottering about her husband; another is getting the servant up; a third is putting her child asleep or washing the brat or feeding it.” With all these duties, how are women expected to have time for politics (which is supposedly the argument put forth here by Cleonice). Still, while these are excuses made for the women’s lack of a political role, there is yet another inherent gender and power difference/spilt to address here: The men are busy too; they are off fighting wars, which one could imagine is taking up more time than childrearing. This being the case, it is curious that Aristophanes never addresses this point. The only issue involved with men is the lack of sex and its comical and exaggerated effect on

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