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3.85  ·  Rating details ·  37,304 ratings  ·  1,043 reviews
Aristophanes' comic masterpiece of war and sex remains one of the greatest plays ever written. Led by the title character, the women of the warring city-states of Greece agree to withhold sexual favours with their husbands until they agree to cease fighting. The war of the sexes that ensues makes Lysistrata a bawdy comedy without peer in the history of theatre. ...more
Paperback, 132 pages
Published March 1st 2003 by Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. (first published -411)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  37,304 ratings  ·  1,043 reviews

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Jun 20, 2007 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 "Marvin" Graye
Feb 04, 2013 rated it liked it
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
People who are currently sleeping with an academic may be interested to know that I just sent the following GENUINE letter to an Elsevier journal, in response to a request to review a paper. If this catches on, don't blame Not. Blame Aristophanes.

Dear Professor ██████,

My girlfriend, on whom I rely for advice in ethical matters, has researched Elsevier's business model in some detail. She says that, after careful consideration, she would not be able to sleep with som
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? ...more
Love this book second time around.

This is one of my favorite stories out there. I first read this in high school or college, I don't remember. I then bought the book. It's such a great idea.

Women are unhappy with how things are going in their town, so they come together and decide to withhold sex from their men until things change. I find this hilarious and such a breath of fresh air. Who knows, maybe this is a way to get change, but its more amusing to me. I think it's better to just have woma
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Today Alyssa Milano called for a sex strike in response to Georgia's abortion ban, which raises two questions: 1) Alyssa Milano is still a thing?! and 2) Haven't I heard this before? I can help with the second thing. Milano got it from Aristophanes, who in 411 BC invented the sex strike and, for all you know, dildos.


It's 411 BC and Athens is deep in the Peloponnesian War with Sparta and everyone's pretty stressed about it. In Aristophanes' brilliantly simple idea, the women of both sides org
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Liz Janet
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
Steven Godin
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Looking at the themes of sex and gender, this bawdy anti-war sex comedy, of which I found rather amusing, was first staged in 411 BCE. In simplistic terms, the play is the account of one woman's extraordinary mission to end the Peloponnesian War, as Lysistrata convinces the women of Greece to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands as a means of forcing the men to negotiate a peace. In other words its like a sex strike! Lysistrata, a strong minded Athenian with a great sense of individual ...more
Chavelli Sulikowska
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it

How do you translate comedy that is more than 25 centuries old? With ease apparently, Lysistrata, first performed way back in 411 BC is just as funny now as it must have been for the ancient Greeks! It was while holidaying in the Peloponnese that it occurred to me to brush up on the ancient Greek classics. A good decision since it really contextualised all the history I was literally walking over every day.

The play commences in 431–404 BC with the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. Alm
Nov 20, 2012 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
Clif Hostetler
Apr 01, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: play
This play gives women credit for trying to make the world a more peaceful place as early as 2400 years ago. Women on both sides of the Peloponnesian war unite in a sex strike. No more sex until there's peace.

This play's reputation is that of an anti-war drama. Ending war is a serious matter, thus it was my expectation this play to be a somber effort of the part of women to knock some common sense into the minds of their men. Instead it was a comedy first, and an anti-war message second. The foo
Apr 01, 2015 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;
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scathing, antique, play
To stop the Peloponnesian War, the namesake heroin Lysistrata talks all the warrior's wives into going on a sex strike. This certainly is one of the earliest examples (to remain) of a play staging such an event. However, this is not the only comedy written by Aristophanes on the many issues raised by the cohabitation of men and women, far from it! ...more
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... ...more
Sep 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
In the era of #MeToo, there may not be a more important piece of drama than Lysistrata. In the era of forever wars there is probably not a a more important piece of drama than Lysistrata. In the era of environmental collapse there is no more important piece of drama than Lysistrata.

The fact that Aristophenes -- 2400 years ago -- was talking about our shit now should make us drop our heads in shame. But it won't.
In the beginning, G-d created the heavens and the earth.

A short time thereafter, he created Adam, and from Adam, Eve.

Then there was nature.

Then some decorating.

It was then time to enact society, of which, it was decided by G-d, would be left to the people wandering around.

A Civilization was forming…

Soon after that first very hectic week, a philosopher appeared. What was unusual about him was his decidedly German accent, thousands of years before there was a Frankfurter.

But philosophy can be dry,
Laura Anne
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: u-of-a
If you want to call yourself a feminist - then read this. Women sorting the men out, more than 2400 years ago.

Shame on you present day Greeks! Although, this is one of those Ancients that they trot out on a regular basis here in Cyprus - it's a comedy.
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 Aristophanes, 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 ...more
Afro Madonna
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Me after reading this play and being in love with every aspect of it and how it portrays women assuming the "supposed" roles of men without even lifting a finger, beautifully :
I have to say I was expecting a completely boring play that seemed to go on and on but boy oh boy was I in for a treat! This play was funny and lewd as hell and completely timeless. It is a really quick read and you will not waste your time if you decide to read it. On my damn word.
Apr 26, 2009 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 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.
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ancient Greek play about women trying to the end the Trojan War by abstaining from sex. It's a classic for a reason...

This particular translation did little for me. I find the older, more archaic English holds more power than the modern vernacular.
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.
Yuki Shimmyo
Apr 05, 2011 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
Jan 25, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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. ...more
Oct 24, 2011 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, reviewed, classic
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. ...more
G.R. Reader
May 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Sex! Violence! Social commentary! Ancient Greek!
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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

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These twelve books are so consistently adored, they have become regulars month after month in our data of most popular and most read books on...
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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.” 28 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.” 24 likes
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