October 18, 2012, by Alan Sommerstein
Lysistrata the Warrior?
Aristophanes’ Lysistrata (see Two productions next year) is often thought of as a classic anti-war play. In Lysistrata the warrior Alan Sommerstein argues that this is a considerable oversimplification. Aristophanes’ heroine sees nothing wrong in warfare unless it is against the current enemy, Sparta, and even the war with Sparta is ended on terms that virtually amount to an Athenian victory.
This essay was published in David Stuttard (ed.), Looking at Lysistrata (London: Duckworth, 2010) 37-48, and (with additional scholarly apparatus) in Alan Sommerstein, Talking about Laughter and Other Studies in Greek Comedy (Oxford University Press, 2009; accessible in Oxford Scholarship Online) 223-236.
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