Aristophanes (c.446–c.386 BC), translated by Theodoridis, G., (contributor-contact-email)

Open Access logo

Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, written in 411 BC, is an ancient Greek comedy that tackles the theme of war and peace in Athens during the Peloponnesian War. The play is renowned for its innovative plot in which Lysistrata, a strong-willed Athenian woman, devises an unconventional plan to end the war. She convinces the women of Greece to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands and lovers as leverage to force a negotiation for peace.

The narrative unfolds with the women successfully seizing the Acropolis, which houses the state treasury, crucial for the war’s funding. This act of defiance leads to humorous and chaotic confrontations, notably between elderly men and women, each group representing different perspectives on the war and society. The play includes a subplot focusing on the couple Kinesias and Myrrhine, revealing a microcosm of the personal toll of the women’s strike.

Lysistrata’s strategy culminates in peace talks between Athenian and Spartan representatives, humorously depicted and ultimately successful. The play concludes with celebrations, marking the end of the war and the triumph of Lysistrata’s peace-making strategy. Lysistrata is celebrated for its commentary on gender roles and its critique of war, highlighting Aristophanes’ skill in blending political satire with comedy.

Author Details

cover image

Theodoridis, G.,

Support Open-Access:

Your contribution keeps our classical translations available to all. Every dollar helps support classics education and funds the expansion of our catalogue. Value what we do? Donate now.

© Copyright, All Rights Reserved. This work may be freely reproduced, stored and transmitted, electronically or otherwise, for any non-commercial purpose. Conditions and Exceptions apply.