Women In Parliament

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

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Aristophanes’ Women In Parliament (Assemblywomen) is a comedy set in 391 BC, portraying Athenian women seizing political control of the city. The protagonist, Praxagora, dressed as a man, persuades other women to disguise themselves similarly and join her at the assembly. Advocating for the women’s takeover of government, Praxagora argues for their greater virtue and efficiency. The women successfully infiltrate the assembly, leading to Praxagora’s husband, Blepyrus, and his neighbour discovering their wives’ absence and discussing the assembly’s surprising decisions. Praxagora, returning home, explains the new societal reforms to Blepyrus, including the abolition of private wealth, communal living, and sexual freedom prioritising the less attractive. These radical changes disrupt traditional relationships and societal structures. The play culminates with a feast scene, showcasing the impact of these reforms on various Athenian citizens. Aristophanes employs his composition to satirise Athenian democracy, gender roles, and societal norms, blending political critique with humorous exaggeration.

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Theodoridis, G.,

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