Aristophanes: Lysistrata

Robson, James (2023). Aristophanes: Lysistrata. Bloomsbury Ancient Comedy Companions. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.



Lysistrata is the most notorious of Aristophanes' comedies. First staged in 411 BCE, its action famously revolves around a sex strike launched by the women of Greece in an attempt to force their husbands to end the war. With its risqué humour, vibrant battle of the sexes, and themes of war and peace, Lysistrata remains as daring and thought-provoking today as it would have been for its original audience in Classical Athens. Aristophanes: Lysistrata is a lively and engaging introduction to this play aimed at students and scholars of classical drama alike. It sets Lysistrata in its social and historical context, looking at key themes such as politics, religion and its provocative portrayal of women, as well as the play's language, humour and personalities, including the formidable and trailblazing Lysistrata herself. Lysistrata has often been translated, adapted and performed in the modern era and this book also traces the ways in which it has been re-imagined and re-presented to new audiences. As this reception history reveals, Lysistrata's appeal in the modern world lies not only in its racy subject matter, but also in its potential to be recast as a feminist, pacifist or otherwise subversive play that openly challenges the political and social status quo.

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