Synopses & 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 favors with their husbands until they agree to cease fighting. The war of the sexes that ensues makes Lysistrata a comedy without peer in the history of theater.
Aristophanes's most popular play shows how sex, or the lack of it, becomes a powerful agent of reconciliation. As war ravages ancient Greece, Lysistrata of Athens leads the wives to deny their husbands all sexual favors until they lay aside their weapons. Dismayed and frustrated, the men retaliate--and a battle of sexes begin.
About the Author
Aristophanes was born, probably in Athens, c. 449 BC and died between 386 and 380 BC. Little is known about his life, but there is a portrait of him in Plato's Symposium. He was twice threatened with prosecution in the 420s for his outspoken attacks on the prominent politician Cleon, but in 405 he was publicly honored and crowned for promoting Athenian civic unity in The Frogs. Aristophanes had his first comedy produced when he was about twenty-one, and wrote forty plays in all. The eleven surviving plays of Aristophanes are published in the Penguin Classics series as The Birds and Other Plays, Lysistrata and Other Plays, and The Wasps/The Poet and the Women/The Frogs.