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I do not think it is neutral pov to construe a certain interpretation of the play as "laughable".(although it is a comedy)

Actually it's true that women could not withhold sex, but the play itself addresses the point, where the women's oath includes a line about "if he has me by force, I will be cold and not aid him in any way" (the women knew where they stood!). But a pro-war interpretation is a bizarre idea completely at odds with everything we know about Aristophanes - it would absolutely have to be sourced from a notable scholar or critic. Stan 13:19, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

Conflicting info[edit]

Second paragraph states that the play was performed at the Lenaia and not the festival of Dionysus (as commonly believed). Second last paragraph (Re: Lysistrata 100) suggests the play was, in fact, performed at the Dionysus festival. By the way, is there a flag/tag for "conflicting information"? -- RedSirus (Fairly new and not knowing how to autosign)

I don't know of any special tag. This note on the talk page is probably sufficient. I note the OCD pointedly omits mention of performance locale, suggesting that both Lenaea and Dionysia assignments are speculative. Stan 18:04, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

sex strike?[edit]

Witholding sex is named as an insite link but there's no article so i'm removing it 02:07, 18 August 2006 (UTC) that was meOmishark 02:08, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

"One of the humorous aspects of the play was that the main actors portraying male characters wore phalluses." This is not a humourous aspect of this play... It is an aspect of all Greek Comedies... Furius 05:38, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Can it not be humorous white still being an aspect of all Greek Comedies. Slapstick was an aspect of all Vaudville reviews, but that doesn't make it not humorous. I see the point you're trying to make of the ahistorical view that the writer of that statement has of strappping on a phallus, but is there a historical argument that they didn't find it funny? For what reason did they strap them on if not for humor? -- 21:32, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Not to mention how extremely relevant the wearing of phalluses would be for this play. (talk) 12:37, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Anthropologists Assertion[edit]

"Some archaeologists and evolutionary anthropologists argue that human culture itself was initially established, in Africa around a hundred thousand years ago, by women who organized a sex-strike once a month."

Can anyone back this up? I asked for a citation on the main page. proath01 00:00, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Dresden Dolls Reference[edit]

Should we mention that the The Dresden Dolls' song 'Shores of California' refers to the play by name? I'm not sure so I'll let another make the call. ForestJay 21:35, 13 November 2006 (UTC)


"As with all Greek comedies, the actors portraying male characters wore phalluses, but since audiences of the day were accustomed to this convention, there would be no shock-humour as might be experienced by the modern audiences of today."

i do not understand why this paragraph is even on this page. if it's the case in all greek comedies, then why are we mentioning it specifically on this page? it seems more like a response to something on a discussion page, not something encyclopedic. Deutschebag17 21:00, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Lioness on a cheese grater[edit]

please, if you know, put the rest of us out of our miseryNankai 07:26, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

In the translation by Benjamin Bickley Rogers, neither the lioness nor the cheese grater are mentioned in the oath.

John Spurgeon (talk) 01:01, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Buckley's translation was probably done in the 19th Century or early 20th (I'm guessing). The Greek is quite clear:λέαιν᾽ ἐπὶ τυροκνήστιδος. = lioness on the cheesegrater. Those 'ancient' Greeks were radical dudes even by today's standards. Lucretius (talk) 22:33, 2 March 2009 (UTC)


It's not essential, but it would be useful to me (if no else) if the article showed how the name is pronounced. --GentlemanGhost (talk) 19:23, 1 February 2008 (UTC)


Some of the performances listed are not notable, I think, so am removing them. Discuss if you disagree.

  1. "In 2007 the play was staged for PBS by MacMillan Films." No ref to it at PBS, and no ref to PBS at McMillan.
  2. A picture caption also mentioned PBS.
  3. "In 2008 members of Galway Youth Theatre will stage Max Hafler's modern-day version..." What makes this notable? Is the title even accurate? A wiki page for Galway Youth Theatre would be a start?

Colfer2 (talk) 16:07, 8 March 2008 (UTC)


how does the play end? it seems that very little wiriting is devoted to the actual play...

Everyone comes together in a dance off. Think I'm kidding? --Tustin2121 (talk) 02:30, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
The men finally take their wives home to have sex with them. How else would it end? (talk) 12:39, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Popular culture[edit]

Editor MarritzN (talk · contribs) labeled this section 'trivia' today. I'm going to revert and refer here for discussion. Pop culture refs are akin to literary allusions. They are not trivia, as the matter cannot easily be integrated into the rest of the article, which the tag would suggest. Each allusion should be judged on its own merit as to notability. The 4 items listed are:

  • Gilligan's Island episode
  • M*A*S*H episode
  • Utopia song
  • Little Mosque on the Prairie episode

Maybe the name of the section should be change to "Cultural references", to include stuff besides "pop" culture. Opinions? -Colfer2 (talk) 19:41, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

I appreciate your explaining your rationale behind removing my tag. I propose that we keep as notable only the items listed that could be integrated into the (currently very piecemeal/disjointed) Modern Interpretations section (variations on the "sex strike" theme that postdate the original play). This would make something like the M*A*S*H episode fair game for listing, as the whole episode is an extended treatment of the theme. A single reference in a Gilligan's Island episode, I think, hardly merits a mention and falls under the category of the trivial. Using this criterion, I think we can keep Little Mosque as well, but we should scrap the Utopia song. Whaddya say? MarritzN (talk) 14:04, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. -Colfer2 (talk) 11:55, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for making the update today. -Colfer2 (talk) 19:49, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

New edits[edit]

I'm about to rewrite this article so that it links with my rewrite of Aristophanes and it will probably end up looking like my recent rewrite of Thesmophoriazusae. I will keep as much of the existing material as I can. I like the section on modern performances and adaptations as this demonstrates the relevance of the play today and - let's face it - most people who stumble on this article will probably be more interested in the modern stuff. So I'll keep as much of that section as I can. Anything that's got a link or a reference to support it certainly should be retained. I hope I don't tread on any toes in the process. Lucretius (talk) 05:38, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

I have removed the 'Clean-up' tag because I think it no longer applies. I have furnished the article with a reasonable scholarly treatment of the original play, and therefore the modern adaptations of the play no longer appear out of context. The section, now titled 'Influence and Legacy', has the support of links and references. It's a fascinating account of modern approaches to 'Lysistrata' and it deserves to be retained. Lucretius (talk) 03:57, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Info box[edit]

I've put the info box (listing Aristophanes' plays) at the top of the article because the play is best understood as just one play by Aristophanes. It sets the context and it allows for easy movement between plays. Lucretius (talk) 06:20, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Nav. box[edit]

I have restored the nav box (linking to Aristophanes' plays) to the top of the article because it allows for easy cross-referencing between plays and because it is a useful reminder that each play is best understood in the context of all the plays. Lucretius (talk) 00:20, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

flagged section - original research?[edit]

One contributor has flagged the Discussion section as original research in need of supporting references. I've now added two references from Sommerstein's introduction of the play. That now makes three citations from secondary sources and there are also several citations of the primary source that demonstrate the arguement being made in that section. The section does not make any controversial statements and I'm surprised that anyone would flag it as original research. Anyhow, I've now added supporting references and I intend to remove the flag in the next few days - unless of course somebody can demonstrate a reason not to remove it. Esseinrebusinanetamenfatearenecessest (talk) 06:38, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

I put it there, and am convinced, after your cogent defense, that I should not have.MarritzN (talk) 07:16, 2 June 2009 (UTC)


This page has been tagged with the satire category. Someone should note in the article what exactly is being satirized. (talk) 16:54, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

dubious tag[edit]

"The dramatic structure represents a shift away from the conventions of Old Comedy, a trend typical of the author's career."

This statement seems odd. Aristophanes' plays are the only extant examples of Old Comedy, and only 11 survive. It seems extreme to say that Lysistrata deviates from any established norms or conventions of Old Comedy based on this evidence. If this statement was made in a secondary source referring to Lysistrata, please cite a source. ÇaCestCharabia (talk) 06:38, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Hi and thanks for the input. The quoted comment isn't controversial but general knowledge within the scholarly community. I suggest you look at the Old Comedy section in Aristophanes for corroboration (I've just restored it after somebody inexplicably deleted it and it was only your comment here that alerted me to the deletion). I really don't think the above quote needs a citation and I would like you to remove the dubious tag. If you insist on a citation I'll supply one or you can supply it yourself from the Aristophanes article. Thanks. McCronion (talk) 13:16, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Oscar Brockett writes in his History of the Theatre that, "Though it is usual to treat Aristophanes' compositions as typical of Old Comedy (as the plays of this period are called), it is unclear how his works compare with those of his predecessors and contemporaries. Nevertheless, generalizations about Old Comedy are necessarily based on Aristophanes' practice." (pg 21 in the 7th Edition). I'm not doubting your assertion that the structure of Lysistrata differs from Aristophanes' other extant works, but I think your phrasing leads the reader to presume we know much more about the conventions of Old Comedy than is actually possible, historiographically. With less than 25% of Aristophanes' work extant and the fact that other examples of Old Comedy exist in mere fragments, I think this sentence over represents knowledge as it stands and is not "generally accepted" in the scholarly community. A citation or a caveat would make this sentence less dubious. ÇaCestCharabia (talk) 22:01, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

I think you are quibbling there - scholars often speak of A's plays as Old Comedy even though there is the understanding that we can't be sure how far he represented the norm. For example, Douglas MacDowell (a classical scholar, which Brockett is not) on page 5 of his intro to the 'Wasps' (O.U.P, 1971): "The play is well constructed in a manner which exemplifies Old Comedy at its best." A good overview of A and his drift away from the conventions of Old Comedy can be found in the intro to David Barrett's edition Aristophanes: the Frogs and Other Plays (Penguin Classics 1964) e.g. page 13: "..a study of the comedies of Aristophanes does reveal a certain pattern of construction—naturally it is seen more clearly in his earlier works—which seems to represent the core of traditional comedy." Have a look also at A.H.Sommerstein's intro to Aristophanes: Lysistrata, The Acharnians, the Clouds (Penguin Classics 1973) for an overview of how Lysistrata differs from the pattern. There is ample support for the statement you find so dubious - by all means read more! Now I hope you'll remove the tag or I will have to do it for you (though I have already done quite a bit on your behalf). If you need a citation pick from the ones I have given you, where Barrett's is probably the most apposite. You might also look at the end section of this article for info about how Lysistrata differs from the 'pattern'. McCronion (talk) 00:13, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure why you seem to take this question personally, it is quite common in the scholarly community to ask critical questions with an eye toward improving the clarity and veracity of all claims. My intention was to be polite and give your statement the benefit of the doubt before changing it. I will change the sentence myself to address the dubious matter with an eye toward respecting the integrity of your intent. It's great to share ideas with you in this collaborative community.ÇaCestCharabia (talk) 05:47, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Actually I addressed your concerns and generally WP editors don't go to such lengths. Your new edit is just a statement of Brockett's position. Brockett is not a classical scholar and he doesn't outweigh the authority of MacDowell, Barrett and Sommerstein. I will now change the sentence back and include one of the sources I provided you. If you want to use the Brockett source have a look at Old Comedy, an article that desperately needs work. The articles on Aristophanes' last plays also are in desperate need of sources and enthusiastic editors - The Frogs, Assemblywomen, Plutus (play). Thanks for your collaborative spirit and I welcome you to this great endeavour that we both share! McCronion (talk) 08:14, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

As the most revered and widely read theatre historian of the 20th Century, the late Oscar Brockett does not need my defense, but if you prefer the authority of Alan Sommerstein, note the following passage from his book Talking about Laughter
In this paper, however, I am going to concentrate on the evidence of Old Comedy, which I define for this purpose as the surviving output of those comic dramatists known to have been active at Athens before the end of the Peloponnesian War together with those comic fragments of unknown authorship whose content or language makes it safe to assume that they originated from some dramatist of that period. We must remember, of course, that the evidence is lopsided. Only from Aristophanes do we have complete plays; and what survives from other authors is by no means a random sampling, since much of the relevant material comes from scholia on Aristophanes and is quoted for its bearing on the Aristophanic passage being commented upon. (117)
OR later,
We also find a variety of comments on specific aspects of the dramatist's technique. These can be classified into comments on structure, on satire, on diction, on metre and music, and on special properties and effects… First, then, structure. There is nothing explicit about the dramatists' overall view of how a comedy should or should not be constructed. There is one interesting reference59 to the importance of what nowadays is often called ‘pace.’
My edit was respectful of the original content while clarifying a generalization. I will revert to my version and then leave the matter alone. I respect your general sentiment that at WP sources must be paramount, but I caution you against weighing the introductions to trade paperbacks against rigorous scholarly writing (even by the same author). The intended audience is different.ÇaCestCharabia (talk) 14:00, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

My edit of the intro was pointedly about the play 'Lysistrata', mentioning Old Comedy and 'Thesmophoriazusae' only to establish context for the reader to follow up later in the article. Your edit has blunted the point, so that the intro seems to be as much about Old Comedy and 'Thesmophoriazusae' as about 'Lysistrata'. That is not respecting the original content of the intro. There is a section in the article for discussion about Old Comedy and I wonder why you didn't put your contribution there. I won't revert again as that opens the way to an edit war. McCronion (talk) 23:19, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

That's a fair criticism and I made some changes to reflect your concerns. Please feel free to expand upon them. I think your eye for structure is very keen and I respect what you've done with the article and 'Thesmophoriazusae'. I want you to know that I meant no insult, but rather made a ham-handed attempt to add to the discussion. You have every right to edit my work, but I agree with you that stubbornly reverting is in the wrong spirit. Thank you for engaging :)ÇaCestCharabia (talk) 01:10, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

The new source (Pelling) is very useful and thanks for adding it to the article's armoury. The intro is much improved though it says a little more about Old Comedy than most readers, I think, will be ready to digest so early in the piece (Lysistrata is easily A's most popular play with modern audiences and most people aren't interested in the ancient tradition in any detail). In some ways however the intro is better than it was before you arrived so I'm happy for it to remain as you've left it. By all means work on other A articles. His last three extant plays really do need someone to take ownership. Cheers. McCronion (talk) 07:49, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

Reverting lede[edit]

I intend re-instating this version of the article introduction. The present intro is too stuffy. However, it has a very good source and I'll retain that but move it to the relevant section in the article. Disagree now or forever hold your piece. Eyeless in Gaza (talk) 06:59, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

big dick[edit]

I appreciate Aubrey Beardsley's artwork as much as the next gal, but isn't the giant phallus in the illustration chosen for this page a little bit distracting from the topic? Beardsley's work is a separate work that stands on its own. (talk) 19:13, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

I can't imagine a "print" discussion of this play without an odd Beardsley picture myself. The topic is, after all, one of the sexiest plays ever written. "Complement" is a better word, I feel, than "distraction". Your last sentence is totally true (and very punny) but so what? --Soundofmusicals (talk) 00:38, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

Original research and synthesis.[edit]

Huge sections of this article are cited solely to the text of the play (using them to make, apparently, an editor's arguments about it.) This violates WP:OR and WP:SYNTH, so I'll try and make an effort to clean it up. Feel free to restore any points that can be sourced to a secondary source, but remember to provide a citation! --Aquillion (talk) 18:44, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Please don't overdo it! Literary criticism is an area where the very proper provisions of WP:OR and WP:SYNTH need a little "not-too-literal" interpretation at times. Provided we stay very close to the text itself, and are careful not to "draw original conclusions", there are times when the primary source is the best, even the only authority. We certainly would hesitate (for instance) to give preference to a secondary source (however respectable) that frankly misquotes the original text, or fails to report the original story accurately. It happens. Some otherwise fine scholars do occasionally trust their own memories, or what THEY have heard in secondary sources, rather than referring to the original. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 11:25, 1 August 2015 (UTC)


I do not agree with ypor modern term "withdrawal of sexual privileges". Sex between a woman and a men does not entail "privileges" from one or the other side. It is and expression of mutual love and desire. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:40, 7 December 2015 (UTC)

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