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by: Chanah Fallin

Lysistrata engl 2200

Chanah Fallin

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About this Document

Covering symbolism and themes on Lysistrata.
World Literature before 1600
Lindsay Doukopoulos
Class Notes
world lit before 1600, Lysistrata, Greece, symbols
25 ?




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Chanah Fallin on Friday February 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to engl 2200 at Auburn University taught by Lindsay Doukopoulos in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see World Literature before 1600 in ENGLISH (ENG) at Auburn University.


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Date Created: 02/05/16
Lysistrata: Aristophanes (411 bce) Genre: comedy (old comedy) Historical context: Peloponnesian war Cultural context: male audience (mainly older, the young are at war) Geographical: Acropolis Protagonist: Lysistrata “Unraveler of armies” Major themes: Athens v. Sparta, Peace v. War, Women v. Men, Young v. Old (binary opposites) *why doe comedies today end in wedding/festivals etc. Exaggerates emotion, sees events close up. “tragedy is life seen close up, comedy is life seen far away” Old Comedy (5th century greece) 1. exuberant/high spirited satire of public affairs/persons 2. composed of song, dance, buffoonery 3. outspoken political criticism 4. comments on literary and philosophical topics 5. chorus is a key feature Peloponnesian War (431-404 bce) *athens (north/brains and intellect) v. sparta (south/warriors) -war dismantedl athens -sparta became leading power -set stage for roman conquest in 146 bcd “beginning” of next literary movement Audience: old men -411 is a dark moment, defeat looming -play offers fantasy of peace *humor, obscenity, nudity, why?? -jokes offer insight into what a culture finds funny -function of obscenity including double meaning? -what is the function of nudity in the play including the men and women chorus/reconciliation *divisions of when what should be one gets divided *women’s body’s: related to land, property, earth, territory Acropolis *most important -center of ancient greece -parthenon -mint -politics -culture (where festivals are held) -built high up, secured by walls. -important landscape feature **2 pronged attack by women : 1. no sex, 2. take over acropolis Protagonist: Lysistrata (unraveler of armies) dramatic action: meet with all the women conflicts: war, no youth, no sex event: at the acropolis hero? aristotle: hero has to be an “everyman” character, not too evil, not too good. comedy too? lysistrata is wiser, more disciplined than other women, more well spoken that men. married but doesn't struggle personally with the sex strike, her struggle is managing the group -What emotions do you feel about her as you read? not pity and fear like in medea and oedipus -in what ways does lysistrata’s heroism help us understand the difference between a tragic hero and comic hero? no personal struggle no personal details about her life re shared. we know from the way she speaks and from he way culture works at the time that she would be married. she does not engage our emotions, she engages our intellect *Comedy is Intellectual. Tragedy is emotional. The two are opposite forces. you can not laugh unless you have emotional distance, comic heres don't have their lives threatened, they have their ideas threatened. -comedy: you have to understand the joke and intellect MEN: war, sex, outdoors, weapons, big pictures, oaths (slaughter sheep) fire, power through destruction WOMEN: peace, families, indoors, yarn, detail oriented, oaths (drink wine) water, power through procreation (comedy) SYMBOLS different from images because they get more interesting them more you think about them within the context of the story. they become a visual shorthand for the story itself (cross=christ) -symbols: acropolis (power), fire/water (opposing forces), wine, yearn, gates, clothing, bedding, shield etc. protofeminist play? like euripides we have a strong female lead -unlike medea, lysistrata is a unifying and altruistic force -comedy begins in chaos and ends in restoration balance chaos: women in charge order: men in charge -how seriously do we take this play? -wants to be successful through the ages, women in charge—status quo? ^is it fantasy or reality? not a real threat, just a funny idea…is it traditional? **satirical, his goal was to make a point that order is success. without order, everything falls through and fails. it wasn't meant to be taken seriously, funny commentary on politics.


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