The Peloponnesian

The Peloponnesian

  • Submitted By: nic123
  • Date Submitted: 03/02/2009 10:42 PM
  • Category: History Other
  • Words: 792
  • Page: 4
  • Views: 634

The play Lysistrata by Aristophanes was first performed in 411 BC and reflects many components of its respective context. The play demonstrates the role of women in 4th century Greek society as well as attitudes towards the Peloponnesian War. These aspects of Greek society are important in understanding the concept and plot illustrated in the play Lysistrata.

The Peloponnesian war is greatly relevant when studying the play Lysistrata. The War was the result of a treaty signed in 445 BC. The Athenian Empire and the Spartan Alliance signed the treaty which declared peace between the two powers. However within in 10 years the truce was breaking down as Athens sought to extend its empire and seek out new alliances. Sparta saw this as an act of aggression and threatened Athens with the prospect of war, and thus the Peloponnesian War commenced in 431 BC. The war continued for 27 years and eventually concluded in 404 BC with the defeat of Athens.

Lysistrata was first performed in 411 BC and was written after 20 years of war. The war is highly relevant when understanding the play given that the plot revolves around a woman’s efforts to bring about peace in the time of war. Throughout the play there are numerous references to the war effort. An example of this is the chorus of old men.The chorus the majority made up of old men, because many younger men have died at war and the remainder are still out fighting. It explores the truth of war and shows the effects it has on everyone. Lysistrata states “Don't you feel sad and sorry because the fathers of your children are far away from you with the army? For I'll wager there is not one of you whose husband is not abroad at this moment.” This highlights another pressing truth of war, and shows the loneliness experienced by the women and children left behind.

Another aspect of Greek society addressed in the play is the role of women and their place in society. Women living in 4th century Greek society were considered to...

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