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Lysistrata: A Modern Translation

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  24,736 Ratings  ·  564 Reviews
This rollicking new translation of Aristophanes' comic masterpiece is rendered in blank verse for dialogue and in lyric meters and free verse for the songs. Appended commentary essays-on ancient warfare, classical Greek rationalism, Athenian women, Athenian democracy and the Athenian festivals-offer lively and informative discussions not only of Aristophanes, but of the br ...more
Paperback, 0 pages
Published February 1st 1970 by Signet (first published -411)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
Ian Vinogradus
Feb 08, 2013 Ian Vinogradus rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ian by: Bird Brian

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
Mar 29, 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
Jan 04, 2016 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;
Nov 21, 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
Liz BooksandStuff
May 03, 2016 Liz BooksandStuff 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

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
Sep 14, 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.
Jul 09, 2013 11 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
NOTE: This book contains four plays, but this review only pertains to Lysistrata

Guys: if you ever want to be the life of the party (or maybe get yourself arrested), consider borrowing this 2500 year old bit from Aristophanes’ play Lysistrata:

KINESIAS: (entering the peace negotiation) ….I’ve come as a delegate to the Sexual Congress. (opens cloak to reveal massive, throbbing erection) Here are my credentials.

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I’m just dying to use that one. Now you might understand how L
Dec 29, 2012 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
Oct 22, 2015 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.
Yuki Shimmyo
Nov 04, 2015 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
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.
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.
Jun 30, 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
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
Jan 31, 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!
Dec 11, 2015 Benjamin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
What a wonderful play! Lysistrata has been on my to-read list for years, and I'm rather glad I waited to read it until after I had read Jon D. Mikalson’s Ancient Greek Religion so that I could understand the (to me, at least) rather elusive Greek religious references in the play, including the Thracian wine sacrifice and oath-swearing (essentially a chthonic sacrifice using undiluted wine and an eschara), the Brauronian bear-playing and other cultic rituals for girls, the importance of the trea ...more
Sep 07, 2015 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.
Nov 20, 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
G.R. Reader
May 09, 2014 G.R. Reader rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sex! Violence! Social commentary! Ancient Greek!
Mar 24, 2011 Vivian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
Absolutely hysterical. I loved this play.
Christine Wilde
Sep 23, 2011 Christine Wilde rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Oh dear god. THIS WAS AWFUL. Couldn't even finish it.

Basic premise: Athenian women are sick or war, so they decide to not have sex with the men until they stop fighting.

The play sounds really interesting and I would love to read it in decent, appropriate language. The problem isn't the play, the problem is that this so-called "modern translation" was just atrocious. Apparently Athenians considered Spartan to be hillbillies, and that's fine. If you want to convey that the Spartan characters are l
Dec 05, 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
Why don't you justdrop dead?Here's a gravesite; buy a coffin; I'll start kneadingyoua 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.

I'mgoing to have a baby.

Butyou were not p
Christian Paula
Dec 31, 2015 Christian Paula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Last book of the year, and it was awesome! So funny, clever, and more accessible than I thought. However, the Spartans get a terrible accent in this translation in an effort to differentiate Spartans and Athenians. The part about Kleisthenes was freaking great.
Oct 27, 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
Akemi G
Sep 22, 2016 Akemi G rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-fiction, dramas
Writing a comedy must be hard, and translating it must be even harder. You don't want to be wordy because explaining jokes is no fun, but you do want to use enough words to make the point.

I started reading this translation by Sarah Ruden (2003), which seems to be the latest translation as of this writing, had a feeling I was missing a few jokes, and got an older translation as well. (Lysistrata and Other Plays: Lysistrata / The Acharnians / The Clouds translated by Alan Sommerstein, 1973) It's
What can I say about Lysistrata? This play has been around since way back when, and something just feels very wrong to me about rating and reviewing it. So I won't rate it, but I will say a few things.

The back cover sums up this story quite well—an Athenian woman named Lysistrata bands together the women of Athens and Sparta to go on a sex strike in order to prevent and end war between the men of Greece. Because historically women have always been seen as subservient to men, the women of Greece
Mel Bossa
I didn't really like this at all. Like I said in my updates, straight people arguing over sex for eighty pages. I don't know... kind of boring. I understand that as a whole this is sort of a feminist book, but I'm sure if I had the energy and inclination I could find a thousand ways to prove that it really isn't. Of all the Greek plays, why is this one the most popular? Why not Antigone or Electra? Man, those girls were amazing. Ah, whatever. Don't wanna fight this battle. :-)

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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
More about Aristophanes...

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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.” 16 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.” 14 likes
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