Aristophanes' Lysistrata was about the power of women in a time of war. It comes as the magistrate loses patience in his attempt to persuade Lysistrata and her friends to leave the Acropolis. Box office: $0. This free synopsis covers all the crucial plot points of Lysistrata. The Commissioner, an appointed magistrate, comes to the Akropolis seeking funds for the. Lysistrata was the third and final of the peace plays written by the great Greek Instead, there was to be no romantic relations of any kind with their husbands. Cleon in the play The Babylonians landed him in court in BCE. the Spartan Lampito; choruses of old men and women; a magistrate; three.
Leader of chorus of women Let's pick up our water-jars again, Rhodippe.
Leader of chorus of old men You damned women, what do you mean to do here with your water? Leader of chorus of women And you, old death-in-life, with your fire? Is it to cremate yourself? Leader of chorus of old men I am going to build you a pyre to roast your female friends upon. Leader of chorus of women And I— I am going to put out your fire.
Leader of chorus of old men You put out my fire — you? Leader of chorus of women Yes, you shall soon see. Leader of chorus of old men I don't know what prevents me from roasting you with this torch. Leader of chorus of women I am getting you a bath ready to clean off the filth.
Leader of chorus of old men A bath for me, you dirty slut? Leader of chorus of women Yes, indeed, a nuptial bath — tee hee!
Lysistrata, by Aristophanes
Leader of chorus of old men [turning to his followers] Do you hear that? Leader of chorus of women I am a free woman, I tell you. Leader of chorus of old men I will make you hold your tongue, never fear! Leader of chorus of women Ah ha! Leader of chorus of old men [to his torch] Burn off her hair for her! Leader of chorus of women [to her pot] Achelous, do your duty! Leader of chorus of women Was it hot? Leader of chorus of old men Hot, great gods! Leader of chorus of women I'm watering you, to make you bloom afresh.
Leader of chorus of old men Alas! I am too dry! I was listening to the speeches last assembly day, and Demostratus, whom heaven confound! Adonis, woe is me for Adonis! Leader of chorus of old men But you don't know all their effrontery yet! They abused and insulted us; then soused us with the water in their water-pots, and have set us wringing out our clothes, for all the world as if we had bepissed ourselves.
Magistrate And well done too, by Posidon! We men must share the blame of their ill conduct; it is we who teach them to love riot and dissoluteness and sow the seeds of wickedness in their hearts. You see a husband go into a shop: Well, the other evening, when she was dancing, the catch came open.
Now, I am bound to start for Salamis; will you make it convenient to go up to-night to make her fastening secure? Take my own case — as a Magistrate I have enlisted rowers; I want money to pay them, and the women slam the door in my face. But why do we stand here with arms crossed? Bring me a crowbar; I'll chastise their insolence! Come on, bring crowbars here, and force open the gates.
I will put a hand to the work myself. Lysistrata [opening the gate and walking out] No need to force the gates; I am coming out — here I am. And why bolts and bars?
What we want here is not bolts and bars and locks, but common sense. Magistrate [jumping nervously, then striving manfully to regain his dignity] Really, my fine lady! Where is my officer? I want him to tie that woman's hands behind her back. Lysistrata By Artemis, the virgin goddess!Spike Lee on ChiRaq & Lysistrata (Dec. 15, 2015) - Charlie Rose
Seize her, I tell you, round the body. Two of you at her, and have done with it! Where is there another officer?
Blake Morrison on Aristophanes' Lysistrata | Politics | The Guardian
Myrrhine By Phoebe, if you touch her with one finger, you'd better call quick for a surgeon! My own officers desert me. Scythians mine, close up your ranks, and forward!
Lysistrata By the holy goddesses! Magistrate Forward, Scythians, and bind them! Leader of chorus of old men Sir, sir what good are words? Don't you know how they have just washed us down — and with no very fragrant soap!
Leader of chorus of women What would you have? You should never have laid rash hands on us. If you start afresh, I'll knock your eyes out.
A 2,500-year-old sex ban
My delight is to stay at home as coy as a young maid, without hurting anybody or moving any more than a milestone; but 'ware the wasps, if you go stirring up the wasps' nest! Chorus of old men [singing] Ah! But come, let us try to find out the reason of the dreadful scourge.
With what end in view have they seized the citadel of Cranaus, the sacred shrine that is raised upon the inaccessible rock of the Acropolis? Leader of chorus of old men [to the Magistrate] Question them; be cautious and not too credulous.
It would be culpable negligence not to pierce the mystery, if we may. Magistrate [addressing the women] I would ask you first why you have barred our gates. Lysistrata To seize the treasury; no more money, no more war. Magistrate Then money is the cause of the war? Lysistrata And of all our troubles. Share via Email How do you make a play written 2, years ago communicate to a 21st-century audience?
Using the latest technology is one way. Putting the characters in modern dress is another. But sometimes the key lies in a seemingly trivial or random detail - a line in the original text you could easily miss or be tempted to cut, but which eventually becomes central to your attempt to put the play back on the map.
Lysistrata, written by Aristophanes in BC, has never really been off the map. Peter Hall directed an acclaimed production at the Old Vic inin a translation by Ranjit Bolt, and it's rare for some version of the play not to appear each summer at the Edinburgh Fringe. The reason for its enduring appeal is simple: The eponymous heroine and her militant sisterhood take two actions to make their men stop fighting: Aristophanes knew that his audience would find both these strategies ludicrous and treat his play, with its slapstick and doubles entendres, as an extravagant fantasy - for women to assert themselves in a public arena at that time was pure Theatre of the Absurd.
These days, it seems less absurd. Women have staged sex strikes in recent years in Colombia, Turkey, Poland, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Sudan, seeking variously to stop drug wars, combat repressive legislation, conserve their environment and turn their carnivorous partners into vegans. As for women entering a male sanctum and seizing power, this too has a famous modern parallel: Greenham Common, inwhen a group of women took up residence around an American military base in protest against Cruise missiles.
Since then, several other such demonstrations - against war, global capitalism and pollution - have been led by women. When I first thought about adapting Lysistrata several years ago, I felt the play needed to do more than draw on such parallels. I had been reading The Common Chorus, Tony Harrison's version of Lysistrata written in the s and relocated to Greenham Common - a ferocious and often brilliant text, but one that never made it to the stage because, while theatre managements dithered, the cold war ended, and the play's moment passed.
It was while I was struggling to work out what to do with the play that I noticed a line in one of the translations on my desk. It comes as the magistrate loses patience in his attempt to persuade Lysistrata and her friends to leave the Acropolis. Told to shut up, he snarls: But there was no mention of a snood in other versions: Ranjit Bolt translated it simply as "a dress". More tellingly, some translations speak of a veil, and have the women sticking a veil on the magistrate's head in order to humiliate him.