Kitty's Reviews > Lysistrata

Lysistrata by Aristophanes
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's review
Dec 05, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: greeks-and-romans
Read in June, 2008

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 century Lysistrata has been elevated to the point of feminist masterpiece and yet during its time it was written to show that the war was so insensible that even a woman knew it. Ow. Well, no matter, chauvinistic punch line at the end or not that does very little to diminish the fact that this is one hell of a funny play. And there's a timeless quality to it too - time and time again I found myself laughing and thinking that any one of these little melodramas could have happened any where in practically any time. There's a part early on in the play where one of the characters is dissatisfied at pacing up and down the square waiting for her fellow conspirators to arrive. If only this had to do with a sale on shoes or shopping she laments then they would have been here at the crack of dawn! But tell them it has political tones to it and they're all an hour late. Oh, have truer words ever rung down about the state of politics and modern man from any age? There's an odd comfort in knowing that in hundreds of years of human folly the state of politics hasn't changed much.

An absolute must read, not only for those stuffy literary types but for anyone looking for a good read, and dare I say it, a genuine laugh.
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