Tag Archives: Lysistrata Jones

ANCIENT GREEK COMEDY: THE KNIGHTS (424 B.C.E.)

 In Balladeer’s Blog’s 6th installment on ancient Greek comedies I will examine The Knights by Aristophanes. For background info on ancient Greek comedies see my original post on the topic: https://glitternight.com/2011/09/22/at-long-last-my-ancient-greek-comedy-posts-begin/

In The Knights Aristophanes pioneered a new sub-genre of Attic Old Comedy: the  Demagogue Comedy. The villain of this masterpiece of political satire was a figure called the Paphlagonian, who was patterned on Cleon, a notorious Athenian politician of the time period. I’ll have Continue reading

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ANCIENT GREEK COMEDY: LYSISTRATA (C: 411 BCE)

FOR BACKGROUND INFORMATION IF YOU MISSED MY FIRST POST ON ANCIENT GREEK COMEDIES CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/2011/09/22/at-long-last-my-ancient-greek-comedy-posts-begin/

Lysistrata was written by the Big A himself, Aristophanes, and this comedy always makes a perfect introductory play for newcomers to Ancient Greek Comedy (henceforth AGC). Part of its accessibility to modern audiences obviously comes from the risque premise of the play, of course. For me the notion that we can understand and laugh at the same simplistic but brilliant story that Athenian audiences from 2,422 years ago laughed at and appreciated embodies the value of these ancient works. 

THE PREMISE

By 411 BCE the Peloponnesian War between Athens (and its allied city-states) and Sparta (and its allied city-states) had been raging for roughly 20 years. The war provides the backdrop for many of Aristophanes’ surviving comedies and is especially apt where Lysistrata is concerned.   Weary of the long, drawn-out conflict the women of Athens, led by the title character Lysistrata (supposedly based on Lysimache, the Priestess of Athena in Athens at the time), join forces with the women of Sparta and decide to withhold sex from the men until they agree to bring an end to the war. 

THE PLAY

Lysistrata convenes a covert meeting between the Athenian and Spartan women and, after the usual jokes about booze-hungry Greek women (“Patsy and Edina, 411 BCE” ), several ribald jokes about  Continue reading

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