By W. John Campbell

Those are the 'Cliff Notes' on Aristophanes' Comedies. Lysistrata, The Birds, The Clouds, and The Frogs. Aristophanes's performs have been comedies, satires, and politically charged. Lysistrata is likely to be his most famed, facing the ability of intercourse and warfare in a society the place girls have keep an eye on.

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Additional info for Aristophanes' Lysistrata: The Birds, The Clouds, The Frogs (Cliffs Notes)

Sample text

When questioned about the cause of her despair, Lysistrata answers that the women are all in desperate need of sex. All of them are trying to escape by one manner or another, deserting their posts, sliding down ropes, or crawling through holesanything to get to a man. At this moment, a woman attempts to sneak away and is immediately apprehended by Lysistrata. The deserter explains she must go home because her "very best wool" is being eaten up by moths, and she needs to go "lay it out" for a while.

This rebellion shall be roasted, scorched, and burnt" because no woman can be allowed to "seize the holy image here" or to occupy the sacred shrine of the Acropolis. The men lay their logs in front of the gates and light their fires from the fire-pots, only to be almost asphyxiated by the smoke. Meanwhile, a Chorus of Old Women enters carrying large pitchers of water. They note the doddering Old Men, staggering clumsily under the weight of the heavy sticks. They comment on the Old Men's stupidity for so blindly supporting a stupid war.

For his Oresteia, Aeschylus chose a myth six or seven hundred years old and used it as a dramatic vehicle on which to hang his ideas. At the core of the trilogy is the murder of a king and the retributions that result. In the plays, Aeschylus shows that in some matters, there is no resolution. We must strive to structure some sort of order to our lives, but, ultimately, we are at the mercy of the gods, and the gods are as unpredictable as the weather. Once a citizen recognizes this fact, he should try to build a solid structure of government as well as a strong social structure, both of which will withstand foreign powers, internal strife, and hopefully, the worst of the gods' wrath.

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