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Lysistrata

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3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  27,553 Ratings  ·  635 Reviews
This  English translation of Aristophanes’ most popular comedy will appeal to the modern reader because of its lively and imaginative plot, memorable heroine, good jokes, and appeal for peace and tolerance between nations and between the sexes. This edition includes background material on the historical and cultural context of this work, suggestions for further reading, no ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published January 1st 1988 by Focus (first published -411)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Seth
Jun 20, 2007 Seth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hate this book because I got arrested on account of it. I was at the University of Texas' Perry Castaneda Library and it got lost amidst the shuffled stack of books which I dumped into my backpack when I left.

Exiting the library the sensor went off.

Sorry, I forgot to check it out. No big deal, happens all the time.

But the Department of Collegiate Fascism, aka the UTPD, are required to file a report. Bored from arresting 19-year-olds for walking down the street half drunk they show up like it
...more
Duane
How old is the idea of women withholding sex from men to get what they want? Well, apparently as far back as 405 BC, because that's what happens in this hilarious (and bawdy) Greek comedy. In this play it was "en masse"' with the singular purpose of bringing peace between the warring Athenians and Spartans. Did it work? Well, what do you think?
Ian "Marvin" Graye
Feb 04, 2013 Ian "Marvin" Graye rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ian by: Bird Brian
Lysistrata

Some Greek men, you’ll discover,
Being a lesser lover
Than a renderer of war,
Treat their wives much like a whore.

So one day, Lysistrata,
Equipped with all the data,
Reckoned upon a tactic
To withhold love climactic.

She aimed to end all conflict
With some cohorts she had picked,
To flaunt breasts and nothing hide,
Though, ‘til peace, men were denied.

Males came with their pricks erect,
Revealed for all to inspect,
Still their wives rejected them,
Until war they would condemn.

So the violence did dec
...more
Praj
Feb 12, 2013 Praj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: phanes
It had been quite awhile since I contemplated over any books let alone penning a critical appraisal on Goodreads. It was tough trying to get words out of the overwhelming emotional vortex; an obstinate ketchup bottle ignoring the need of a fried potato for the tangy goodness. So, when Brian suggested a group reading of Lysistrata, I was a bit apprehensive. A Greek playwright crossing the dreaded course of fallen heroic tragedies; even more remorse to my cerebral coma; not a luxurious indulgence ...more
Leajk
Nov 20, 2012 Leajk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: men, women, war monglers, pacifists
In the introductory note in my edition a Mr. Crofts mentions that the play "is notorious for its racy, almost pornographic humor". I'd say that this seems to be a bit of an overstatement.

Surely it is not that much more racy than say a William Shakespeare play or for that matter The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights? It is really all talk and no action. Surely we as modern readers can handle that? (And would anyone living in 1994, the date of this edition, really consider this
...more
Liz Janet
Dec 27, 2014 Liz Janet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
TV Commercial: Does your husband and the men of Athens just want to wage war? Do they ignore your pleas for peace no matter how long the Peloponnesian War has been going on? Tired of your men's stupid decisions in such a trying time? Do you wish to end it? Well women of Athens, you are in luck, we have the solution for you, withhold sex from your husbands and lovers, that will bring them back with their tails between their feet and a signed peace document.
Women of Athens: Would that not just cr
...more
Mike
Apr 01, 2015 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wouldn't be surprised if Lysistrata was the first sex comedy (that's a genre, right?). Sex (or lack there of ) drives the plot and innuendos abound:

Lysistrata: But I tell you, here's a far more weighty object.
Calonice: What is it all about, dear Lysistrata, that you've called the women hither in a troop? What kind of object is it?
Lysistrata: A tremendous one!
Calonice: And long?
Lysistrata: Indeed, it may be very lengthy.
Calonice: Then why aren't they here?
Lysistrata: No Man's connected with it;
...more
Pink
Sep 13, 2015 Pink rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was hilarious. Women withholding sex until all the men stopped the war. What an imaginative idea. I especially liked how the women fought against their own desires despite being in heat. Several laugh out loud moments for me.
Yann


Lysistrata est l'une des plus célèbres pièces d'Aristophane. A l'époque où il l'écrivit, la cité Athénienne est dans une situation critique, le désastre de l'invasion de la Sicile ayant précipité la défection de nombres d'alliés, et enhardi les Spartiates à s'approcher toujours plus de l'Attique. Toujours partisan de la paix et fustigeant les va-t-en guerre, Aristophane imagine un scénario rocambolesque digne de l'ambiance Dionysiaque des fêtes pendant lesquelles la pièce était jouée: Lysistrata
...more
Ana  Vlădescu
Why do we live under the impression that the Greeks were such serious philosophers, when one of their favorite past-time was listening to dick jokes? I loved this, I do enjoy the occasional dick joke. One has to read this and play it in one's mind at the same time...
Erin the Avid Reader ⚜BFF's with the Cheshire Cat⚜
As you can see, there are no highlighted stars for this review. The reason for this is not because I loathed the play, but simply because I have read three different translations of Lysistrata, each unique in translation. If you read what appears to be a bad translation of the play, then that is not the fault of Socrates, but of the translator(s). With that being said, instead of one rating to finalize it, I am posting three ratings and reviews, one for each translation I have read; from the bes ...more
Werner
Apr 26, 2009 Werner rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Students of literature, theater history, or ancient history
Shelves: classics, plays
After listing this on my "read" shelf for years, I discovered last month that the "translation" I read as a teen was actually a very free adaptation, which only loosely resembles what Aristophanes actually wrote. Naturally, I wanted to correct that mistake; and since I was looking for a short read right now, and had promised a Goodreads friend that I'd soon review the actual play, I worked it in over the past couple of days. Note: the above Dover edition is not actually the one I read; I read th ...more
David Sarkies
Jan 11, 2013 David Sarkies rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who love old comedy
Recommended to David by: My Classic lecturer
Shelves: comedy
Staging a sex strike
12 January 2013

Ignoring the crudeness of the play (and remember that Shakespeare himself was quite crude) and the naked men running around with giant erect peni (is that the plural of penis?) what this play seems to be about is the empowerment of women (which is probably why the feminists love it so much). Mind you the only woman in this play that seems to have the willpower to see it through to the end is Lysistrata herself, but then that is probably why she is the leader.
...more
Amanda
This was hilarious. Greek comedy where all the women get together to end war. How? by withholding sex and controlling the money (war fund). Some laugh out loud moments but also some serious messages.
Trish
This was such a comic relief after weeks of Homer. This play is lighthearted and funny, though it deals with several important subjects. If it weren't on my syllabus, I probably wouldn't have heard of it for a long while. But I'm glad I got a chance to read it, though I'd be interested in getting hold of a more traditionally translated edition. I'm not sure I loved the liberties this translator took with the text.
Yuki Shimmyo
Apr 05, 2011 Yuki Shimmyo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one--not this Douglass Parker translation.
This modern translation by Douglass Parker is HORRENDOUS! Got it, the Athenians consider the Spartan Lampito a country bumpkin, but I can not read another line of "Shuckins, whut fer you tweedlin'me up so? I feel like a heifer come fair-time." in this CLASSIC drama. Harumph!

Douglass Parker's footnote for "I calklate so" is "In employing a somewhat debased American mountain dialect to render the Laconic Greek of Lampito and her countrymen, I have tried to evoke something like the Athenian attitud
...more
Sita
Oct 24, 2011 Sita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Greek Theatre or fans of Play's
Recommended to Sita by: My Ancient History Teacher
Shelves: own, classic, reviewed
This is an interesting one. I read it when my Ancient History teacher recommended it to me. I enjoyed it although I didn't love it. It is about a bunch of women who withhold sex from their husbands until they stop going to war. It is an interesting one and I enjoyed it. I would recommend it to fans of the Greek Theatre or people who enjoy reading good plays. Because this is a good one.
Ana Rînceanu
original read: 2010

Whether it's the original version or a modern adaptation, you need to see this play live to appreciate its transcending humor.
Leni Iversen
The introduction by Jack Lindsay I couldn't comprehend, but the play itself I quite enjoyed. The Spartans being rendered in Scottish vernacular by the translator was a nice touch, but left me struggling a bit with the text.

I only knew this as the comedy where the women go on a sex strike in order to stop the Peloponnesian war. I rolled my eyes a bit at that, thinking it was so typical to present sex as something that is important for men but not for women. How wrong I was! The women in this play
...more
Sheila
Jun 25, 2013 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a fascinating play. Either Aristophanes was a man ahead of his time, or women in Ancient Greece were not the way I had previously learned they were.

Lysistrata is a woman who knows here mind, a woman confident in her sexuality, a woman who has her own thoughts and ideas about what is happening in her world, and she is going to do something with these ideas. She is tired of war, and she is going to stop it. Her friends are confident, sexually secure women. These are not timid women in arrang
...more
Bruce
Aug 08, 2014 Bruce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lysistrata is one of Aristophanes’ anti-war plays, written during Athen’s involvement in the seemingly interminable Peloponnesian War. In the years since then it has proved one of his most enduringly popular, sometimes interpreted and presented in modern times as a pacifist work, sometimes as a feminist play. The title character is a woman of strong convictions who, tired of the war, its cost, and the continual absence of men at the front, organizes the women of all the combatant city states to ...more
Kitty
Jul 20, 2010 Kitty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I get a perverse kick out of the fact that I can share a hearty laugh about someone's genitals with someone a thousand years ago. The fact that both myself and a stadium full of men in ancient Greece were laughing about the same things has an unnatural appeal to me. Almost enough to forget the fact that we were undoubtedly laughing for very different reasons.

It's interesting to see how audiences now react to this play in contrast to how it was originally meant to be viewed. In the twenty first c
...more
Valentina
Jan 13, 2016 Valentina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
È guerra, gli uomini sono via da mesi: le donne prendono in mano la situazione, sotto la guida di Lisistrata. Faranno sciopero del sesso, rimanendo sull'Acropoli, finché non sarà siglata la pace, senza cedere ad alcuna tentazione. Gli uomini, dal canto loro, sono subito fuori controllo: tutte le città sono piene di lamenti per il mancato piacere! Avremo un lieto fine, come in ogni commedia, e la risata costante per tutta la sua durata: grazie Aristofane!
Leslie
Feb 15, 2013 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This play from ancient Greece still is an amusing look at male-female relations & has some slyly witty pokes at the causes of war. In the play, Athens is at war with Sparta. Lysistrata convinces women from both city-states that together they can bring peace by denying the men sex until the men agree to a peace treaty! And of course, it doesn't hurt that the women also seize control over the war treasury.
G.R. Reader
May 08, 2014 G.R. Reader rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sex! Violence! Social commentary! Ancient Greek!
Vivian
Mar 24, 2011 Vivian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
Absolutely hysterical. I loved this play.
Maria
Nov 18, 2015 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Funny like in Aristophanes. A vulgar comedy play from the founder of the genre.

An Athenian woman, Lysistrata, plots a vicious plan to end the war. No one dips his finger in the honey until the war is ceased. A piece of ass for a peace of men. The girls' conspiracy is well contrived. Could it work nowadays as well?

Women love Peace but also the Spartan six-packs. Well... it seems that peace is on our own initiative.
We bring you to life guys and we send you to hell too. You need to realise who rule
...more
Sarah
Oct 24, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greek-drama
Aristophanes was really ahead of his time, and I think that Lysistrata is proof of that. In this play, a group of women all agree to abstain fron any sexual contact until their husbands stop going off to war. In general, this plan seems to work alright in the end.

First of all, to have a women-centric play is nice, because many plays from this time focused on the typical hero or manly man figure. I enjoy a play that attacks this cliche, especially by presenting it fromt he viewpoint of the women
...more
Zala
LYSISTRATA
Why don't you just drop dead? Here's a grave site; buy a coffin; I'll start kneading you a honeycake.


I'd like to say that this was the usual Greek comedy, but Aristophanes is quite the overachiever when it comes to exaggerating and sexual innuendos. Therefore, Lysistrata has an equal amount of funny and cringeworthy moments. As such I thought it had the basis of a good satire that, sadly, went overboard with its caricaturing.

THIRD WOMAN 
I'm going to have a baby.

LYSISTRATA
But you we
...more
Richard
Nov 17, 2016 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ladies! Ladies! Step right up and learn the mysterious lore of ancient Greece! Read Lysistrata and you, too, can learn to use the most fearsome Weapon ever devised to combat male Tyranny and lousy Government. By the time you finish this magnificent Book, you will know exactly how to wield the most powerful Secret Weapon in history! The best news of all: No purchase required. You're probably already carrying it with you!

P.S. The story of L is couched as a comedy, but I'm in a contant state of sur
...more
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1011
Aristophanes (Greek: Αριστοφάνης; c. 446 BCE – c. 386 BCE) was a playwright of ancient Athens.

About 11 of his works are known in full, and they are the only plays of the "Old Comedy" style to have survived. They are The Acharnians, The Birds, The Clouds, The Ecclesiazusae, The Frogs, The Knights, Peace, Plutus (Wealth), The Thesmophoriazusae, and The Wasps. These plays have been translated into m
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“What matters that I was born a woman, if I can cure your misfortunes? I pay my share of tolls and taxes, by giving men to the State. But you, you miserable greybeards, you contribute nothing to the public charges; on the contrary, you have wasted the treasure of our forefathers, as it was called, the treasure amassed in the days of the Persian Wars. You pay nothing at all in return; and into the bargain you endanger our lives and liberties by your mistakes. Have you one word to say for yourselves?... Ah! don't irritate me, you there, or I'll lay my slipper across your jaws; and it's pretty heavy.” 17 likes
“[Y]ou [man] are fool enough, it seems, to dare to war with [woman=] me, when for your faithful ally you might win me easily.” 15 likes
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