Lysistrate : Komödie

by Aristophanes

Other authorsLudwig Seeger (Translator)
Paperback, 1986



Call number

FH 26565 L994



Stuttgart: Reclam


Drama. Fiction. HTML: One of the few plays that survived intact from the heyday of ancient Grecian drama, Lysistrata is an enormously influential work of satirical comedy. In order to bring an end to a destructive and never-ending war, the women of Greece take a temporary vow of chastity, pledging to remain abstinent until the conflict ends. As can be expected, mayhem??and hilarity??ensues

User reviews

LibraryThing member MeditationesMartini
I love this! For the first time a modish modern translation works--for about two pages it's jarring for characters in Aristophanes to call each other "baby" and whatnot, and then you're like, oh yeah, this is the only way it could have been. The only way to get across the rollicking hilarity. I
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esteem a play that can treat love like war and put on a gay show for Athenians desperate for something to cheer about, and still raise spirits two thousand years later. And yeah, yeah, women and men, and women have to be the men because there are no real men that can end the war, and feminist readings and pacifism v. good and bad wars, I get all that. But I don't have anything profound to say about it really--just that I loved every moment and want to see it performed super bad. "It's not the heat, it's the tumidity." Good lord.
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LibraryThing member jasmyn9
A humorus tale of how the women of the Greek world unite to try and stop the war that is keeping their husbands away. I'm very glad that I read this, I neve realized that the humor they used would still be fitting for today's society. While some of the context was difficult to understand, such as
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the references to other writers and historical events, the footnotes provided in the version I read were helpful enough to help me move past it.

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LibraryThing member opinion8dsngr
I never thought I would laugh out loud to an Ancient Greek play, but I guess Lysistrata proves that some [edited] jokes are funny in any era. Clever, a fascinating look at ancient feminism, and witty this play was a quick and very well worth it read, even if the only premise for it is a bunch of
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crude sex jokes. My only major complaint is that in the translation I read (Sutherland's in Wadworth's) he tried to contemporize it by giving the Spartans almost unreadable Southern drawls and the women modern clothes. It didn't work. Aristophenes writing, however, clearly shines through.
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LibraryThing member leslie.98
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
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agree to a peace treaty! And of course, it doesn't hurt that the women also seize control over the war treasury.
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LibraryThing member Zohrab
This book is skech illustrated by Pablo Picasso. A beautifull edition.
LibraryThing member 9days
Just the worst translation of anything I've ever read.

Let's take a classic and turn it into a horrible, late 60's slang-ridden monstrosity. Who thought this was a good idea? I am shocked that the term "jive turkey" didn't make an appearance.

The Torah as read in Klingon is less painful.
LibraryThing member cmbohn
The basic plot behind this book is pretty well known. The Greek women get tired of war and decide force a peace treaty. Their weapon of choice is sex - they will withhold intimacy from their men until the men agree to call off the war.

As might be expected, the dialogue is pretty full of innuendo
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and at time explicit reference to sex. There are lots of jokes about it. I'm not sure how this would be staged in today's world.

I was fine with that. What bothered me was the translation. For instance, apparently the Spartans had an accent that marked them out from the Athenians. The translator chose to interpret that as a country hick accent. Then there was the attempt to make the dialogue modern and hip, which is of course, at least 20 years out of date.

Not a bad play, although the whole idea shouldn't have taken as long as it did to stage. One act would have been enough. But if you want to read it, find a different translation. This one was done by William Arrowsmith and it is really jarring to read.
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LibraryThing member booklovers2
I hated it. Mandatory read for college. Also hated the movie which I forced my husband (then boyfriend) to attend with me at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. Ughhhh... what a waste, I did not enjoy either book or play(movie).
LibraryThing member nickphilosophos
This is one of the most hilarious plays ever! Greek comedy is absurdly...modern. This play was bawdy and, at the same time, rife with meaning and importance.
LibraryThing member beau.p.laurence
The story is great -- if you have an opportunity to see it performed, GO! Men refuse to stop making war, so women refuse to sleep with them. Guess which side can hold out longer?
LibraryThing member wonderperson
I want to read all of Aristophanes.
Evidently the Victorians read the Greeks and that was their normal Literature so no reason why moi ought not to follow suit.
LibraryThing member TiffanyAK
I actually read an online version of this text provided by my teacher as part of my Introduction to Drama course, so this is not the same translation I'm writing about, but is the same work. While I cannot be sure about this exact translation, I do know that the play itself is an excellent example
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of ancient Greek comedy, and with a strong female lead to boot. If you are interested in drama at all, it is almost certainly a good idea to read some of the earliest examples, including this one. There are lots of good translations online, as well as in collections of dramas from ancient Greece and elsewhere, in addition to the stand-alone versions. In good translations, such as the one I was provided with, it is easy enough to read and follow so as not to be intimidating, so there's no reason not to give it a shot. As someone who has read many ancient Greek dramas from several different genres, it's certainly one that I highly recommend. One note that I would add is that the best humor in the play, the turns of phrase and such, seem to be especially prone to multiple different translations, some of which seem to get the humor across better than others. So, you may need to hunt around to find the version that suits you best, since it does add a great deal to the show once you find that "right" one for you.
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LibraryThing member bookworm12
This comedy, originally written in 411 BC, was banned in 1967 in Greece because of its anti-war message. This modern translation by Douglass Parker breathes new life into the story and makes it accessible for all audiences.

The women in Greece decide that they are tired of their men always being
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away fighting the Peloponnesian War. One woman, Lysistrata, comes up with a brilliant idea and recruits the rest of the women to take part in her plan. They decide as a group to withhold sex from the men until they make peace. They lock themselves in the Acropolis and resist all temptation to give in to their husband’s demands. I loved the fact that the women don’t deny their own sexual desires and they have to fight both their urges and their husbands’ desires to make the plan work.

One of the funniest scenes includes a woman desperate to go back home to her husband. She announces she much leave and find a midwife because she’s about to deliver her baby… even though she wasn’t pregnant the day before. The women quickly call her on it and make her remove the metal helmet from under her dress where it was being smuggled to make her look pregnant.

BOTTOM LINE: The humor definitely plays better on the stage than the page, but I’ve found that to be true with all comedic plays. The premise is clever and fun and though it may be a bit silly, the message of encouraging peace is a good one.
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LibraryThing member wishanem
The best part of this play is its premise. It is occasionally funny, but most of the humor falls flat in a modern context.
LibraryThing member FourOfFiveWits
The innuendo is hilarious.
LibraryThing member TheDivineOomba
This play is funny! Its about a bunch of women who are pissed about the war, so the decide to withhold sex from their husbands... And this translation, probably faithful to the original feel of the play, probably not faithful to the actual words.

There are culture and language specific double
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entendres, puns, cultural references that don't make sense when translated directly to English. The translator is very clear what changes she made, and why. Her introduction introduces the play nicely, while the commentaries at the end of the book explains Athens life, with a emphasis on women's roles (very restricted).
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LibraryThing member nbmars
Translation of comedy is always a challenge, particularly when the jokes are 25 centuries old. Last summer I was assigned, for a yearly symposium I attend at Notre Dame, the reading of Lysistrata, authored by the Greek playwright Aristophanes and first performed in 411 BCE.

As the play begins, the
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Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta (431–404 BC) has been going on interminably, with nearly all the young men away from home or otherwise engaged in the conflict. Seeing no likely prospect of an end to the war, Lysistrata, an Athenian woman, takes matters into her own hands and proposes desperate measures. She gathers representative women from all the city-states engaged in the war [how this could have been accomplished is not treated, nor is it important to the story] and persuades them to withhold sex from their husbands and lovers [when they actually saw them] until peace is concluded.

But for some minor scuffling for control of the Acropolis between the women and the men of Athens who are too old to be fighting the Spartans, very little action takes place. [The Acropolis of Athens was an ancient citadel located above the city of Athens and was home to several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon.]

The play consists primarily of dialog among the women in organizing their movement, and later discussions between choruses of women and men justifying their positions. Aristophanes introduces some bawdy levity in that the peace talks between the contestants are conducted by men who have constant erections.

Because the plot is so simple, the enjoyment of the play must come from the caliber of the dialog. I imagine part of the fun for ancient Greek audiences derived from the playwright’s mastery of different Greek dialects and accents. The translation I read, by Jack Lindsay, was too academic, archaic, and sterile. He attempted to create authenticity by having some of the interlocutors speak in what seemed like a Scottish accent. The effect is a bit off-putting because Lindsay’s pseudo-Scotsmen are barely understandable.

Although Aristophanes is known as a comic playwright and this play contains some comic scenes, the overall message is rather sad; i.e., there may be no rational or practical solution to the problems presented by war. In the case of the Peloponnesian War, he may have been quite correct: although the war had been going on for twenty years when the play was first staged, it still had another seven years to run. Moreover, Athens, the strongest city-state in Greece prior to the war's beginning, was reduced to a state of near-complete subjection, while Sparta became established as the leading power of Greece.

Evaluation: Scholars maintain that each era has a unique spirit that sets it apart from all other epochs. In German, such a spirit is known as “Zeitgeist,” from the German words Zeit, meaning “time,” and Geist, meaning “spirit” or “ghost.” But some works remain in the cultural Zeitgeist in successive eras, even if somewhat transmogrified. Lysistrata is one of those. Because the theme of Lysistrata has endured over centuries, I would recommend reading the original play, but trying a different translation if one is available.

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LibraryThing member Eavans
I'll say it... I laughed a lot...
LibraryThing member SephOfErebus
Need the man in your life to do something and he won't? Lysistrata has a few pointer for you. She will have him bending to your will in no time.
LibraryThing member dgrayson
A hysterical play about how women from 2 cities decide to end their husbands' war by withholding sex till the war ends.
LibraryThing member MarthaJeanne
Lysistrata in Sarah Ruden's translation is a real joy. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Douglass Parker's rendering as a college student, but in the few sections I compared, Ruden is much more alive. Many of the bawdy bits were so mildly worded in the older version that I probably didn't get them at
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the time.

Having notes right on the page is a great help, and her commentaries at the end and the preface are very helpful.
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Original publication date

411 BCE


3150068908 / 9783150068908
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