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The Role Of Women In Lysistrata By Aristophanes

Decent Essays
Given solely the plot of Lysistrata by Aristophanes, one might think that the play is a highly progressive comedy in which women are empowered and are given meaning beyond the household. Unfortunately, as one starts to delve deeper into the story, there are many elements that suggest otherwise, mainly the portrayal of secondary female characters, the women’s overall willingness to discount their non-physical features and the peacemaking scene around the end of the story.
The events in the play encourage the notion that the best thing young women have going for them is their bodies. In the beginning of the play, it is pointed out that the women present during the pact all have very nice bodies. As the women arrive, this is the first thing Lysistrata and Kleonike notice; they make it abundantly clear in the conversation as well. (Aristophanes, 356)
Furthermore, while Lysistrata is talking her about her plan, Kleonike even says “Wisdom for women? There is nothing cosmic about cosmetics and glamor is our only talent. All we can do is sit, primped and painted, made up and dressed up.” (Aristophanes, 353) Not only is Kloenike speaking for herself, she bring all women into her generalization. When the play, Lysistrata, was first put on, men played the women’s roles. In essence, this was not a woman speaking for all women, but a man speaking about women and making light of their worth.
Although, the women gain power in the play by withholding sex from the men, they also
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