Lysistrata:The Power Of Sex

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade October 2001

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14 September 2001 Lysistrata: The Power of Sex Aristophanes uses sexual comedy to end the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta in the play, Lysistrata. Lysistrata, the heroine, convinces the women of Greece to band together and withhold sex from their husbands in order to get them home and end the war The most interesting aspect of Lysistrata is the suggestion that by abstaining from sex, the women could end the political differences between Athens and Sparta.

Lysistrata tells the women of her plan to bring the men home at the beginning of the play. She says, "If we are going to force our men to make peace, we must do without sex" (Aristophanes 470). Lysistrata hopes to bring an end to the Peloponnesian War with her sly plan to force Athens and Sparta to come to peace with each other. What is most intriguing about the play is that the women, who in Athens were not even allowed out of the house, could end the war by with holding sex from their husbands.

Her plan was for the women to dress in their sexiest clothes and when their husbands got interested in them, abstain from sex (471). The men would soon realize that until the war was over, their sexual desires would not be satisfied.

The primary function of a female in any society is not solely to provide pleasure to her husband, but also to function as a caretaker or motherly figure in the household. A female's main ambition is to be a mother for her family. This makes her sexual needs a second priority to taking care of her husband and children. Because of this, the women in Lysistrata are able to withstand not having sex much easier than their husbands. The male's desire...

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