Lysistrata restores some order after the fracas , and allows the magistrate to question her about her scheme and the war. She expresses pity for the young, childless women, left to grow old at home during the best years of their lives, while the men are away on endless military campaigns, and she constructs an elaborate analogy in which she shows that Athens should be structured as a woman would spin wool.
To illustrate her points, Lysistrata and the women dress the magistrate up , first as a woman and then as a corpse.
Eventually, he storms off to report the incident to his colleagues, and Lysistrata returns to the Acropolis. The debate is continued between the Chorus of old men and the Chorus of old women, until Lysistrata returns with the news that some of the women are already becoming desperate for sex, and they are beginning to desert the cause on the silliest of pretexts such as to air bedding and do other chores and one is even caught trying to escape to a brothel. Meanwhile, Cinesias, the young husband of Myrrhine, appears, desperate for sex.
As Lysistrata oversees the discussion, Myrrhine reminds him of the terms, and further taunts her husband by preparing an inviting bed, oils, etc, before disappointing the young man by locking herself in the Acropolis again. The Chorus of old women make overtures to the old men, and soon the two Choruses merge, singing and dancing in unison.
Lysistrata by Aristophanes, translated by Dudley Fitts
The peace talks commence and Lysistrata introduces the Spartan and Athenian delegates to a gorgeous naked young woman called Reconciliation or Peace, whom the delegates cannot take their eyes off. Lysistrata scolds both sides for past errors of judgement and, after some squabbles over the peace terms and with the naked figure of Reconciliation before them and the burden of sexual deprivation still heavy upon them , they quickly overcome their differences and retire to the Acropolis for celebrations, songs and dancing. The oligarchic revolution in Athens, which proved briefly successful that same year, was more political fall-out from the Sicilian disaster was.
Even while apparently demonstrating empathy with the female condition, Aristophanes still tended to reinforce sexual stereotyping of women as irrational creatures in need of protection from themselves and from others. Search the catalogue for collection items held by the National Library of Australia. Request this item to view in the Library's reading rooms using your library card. To learn more about how to request items watch this short online video.
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Catalog Record: Lysistrata. Translated by Douglass Parker | HathiTrust Digital Library
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