How do geography and environment affect society? Use examples to show how geography and environment affect civilization development.

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Lysistrata.pdf

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Aristophanes

LYSISTRA'I'/\

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being Of/ by her

Medea

If wc work out all well and (arefully

the ug and lightly yoke,

life ctjviablc, If not. I'd rather die, whet) firecl of (lit' conjpany tn

( ;ocs out of the and puts an end to

corns to a friend Of (0tnpanjon of his own age,

we are forcc€l to keep our eyes on one alone,

Wh/lt they Say of us is that we have a peaceful tgmc

Living at home, while they do the fighting war,

I low wrong they ore! I would very much rather stand

Three ttmcs in the front of battle than bear one child,

(e, 448-•€•, 18() 0.0b). the greatest Athenian comic playwright, wrote in 'f i 2 co convey his revulsion for the Peloponnesian War that was

destroying Greece. In (he play, the women oc Athens. led by resolve to icotii sexual relations witli their until the men make peace.

When the wonten seize the Acropolis——the rocky hill in the center of Athens— (he men to (orce but nee (loused with Water. At this point a commissioner, aceonq»nniecl by four constables. enters and complains about the disturbance; Koeyt)hnios. one Ol' the doused men, vents his anger. The ensuing dialogue be- v ween the conunissioner and l.ysistratn reflects some attitudes of Greek men and

(owned encli other,

CbaPfer2 TEGnzL4 43

COMMISSIONER ... That's what women are

ood for: a complete disaster.

MAN I Save your breath for actual crimes,

Commissioner. Look what's happened to us.

Insolence, insults, insufferable effrontery, and

CALONIKE (carrying a larzp) By Artems, gd-

dess light, If you lay a finger on yw'lj

need a doctor

COMMISSIOXER Apprehend that voman Get

her, NOW!

apart from that, they've soaked us. It looks as

though we pissed in our tunics.

COMMISSIONER By Poseidon, that liquid de-

ity, you got what you deserved. It's all our own

fault. We taught them all they know. We are

the forgers of fornication. We sowed In them

sexual license and now we reap rebellion..

(shrugs) What do you expect? This is what hap-

pens.... (indicates doors of Ao-opolis) Take my

own case.

I'm the Commissioner for Public Safety. I've

got men to pay. I need the money and look

what happens. The women have shut me out of

the public treasury. (taking command) All right,

men. On your feet. Take up that log over there.

Form a line. Get a move on. You can get drunk

later. I'll give you a hand. (They ram the gates

without success. After three tries, as they are stepping

back, Lysistrata opens the door. Calonike and

Myrrhine accompany her.)

LYSISTRATA Put that thing down! I'm coming

out of my own free will. What we want here is

not bolts and bars and locks, but common sense.

COMMISSIONER Sense? Common sense? You

. you . you ... Where's a policeman? Ar-

rest her! Tie her hands behind her back.

LYSISTRATA (who is carrying u'ool on a spindle or

a knitting needle) By Artemis, goddess of the

hunt, if he touches me, you'll be dropping one

man from your payroll. (Lysistrata jabs him)

COMMISSIONER What's this? Retreat? Get

back in there. Grab her, the two of you.

BOEOTIAN (from utth a by

Artemis, goddess witc}xraft, if you go rear

her, I'll break your trad

COMMISSIONER G«xl G(ki, what a mess. Ath-

ens' first disgr•ued! Ikfeared by a gaggle (f

girls. Close ranks, men! On ywr marks, get

CHARGE!

LYSLSTRATA (holds hr handJ ad

Hold it! We've got four fully

equipped infantry women there.

COMMISSIONER Go inside disarm &k-m-

LYSISTRATA (gilts a load ubiy:le and

crrjud bttlenecks and dvncay CTVAJ.

pots and pans, etc.) Attack! Dztroy El-em, you

sifters of dour arÆ æaters cf eggs, you pressers

garlic, you dough girls, you maids, you mar-

ket militia. Scratch them and tear t}rrn, bite

kick. Fall back, don't strip enemv—the day

is ours. (th Plicemen are oterpuered)

COMMISSIONER (in tears) Another glonous

military victory for Athens!

LYSISTRATA What did think we were?

There's not an ounce of servility in us- A

woman scorned is something to be reckoned

with. You underestimated capacity of fre-

born women.

COMMISSIONER Capacity? I sure as FEII did-

You'd cause a drought In the salcons If they let

you in.

MAN I Your honor, there's no talking to

animals. I know you're a civil servant, but don't

overdo it. MYRRHINE (holding a large chamber pot) By

Artemis, goddess of the dew, if you lay a hand MAN 11 Didn't we tell you? They gave us a

on her, I'll kick the shit out of you. public bath, fully dressed, without any sæp-

COMMISSIONER Shit? Disgusting. Arrest her WOMAN I What did you expect, sonny? You

made the first move——we made the second. Try for using obscene language.

44 Part One The Ancient World

it again and you'll get another black eye. (flute)

We are really sweet little stay-at-homes by na-

ture, all sweetness and light, good little virgins,

perfect dolls (they all rock to andfro coyly). But if

you stick your finger in a hornet's nest, you're

going to get stung.

MEN ALL (and drums—they beat their feet

LYSISTRATA Why do you say so?

COMMISSIONER The national economy is for the war effort.

LYSISTRATA Who needs the war effort?

COMMISSIONER How can we protect the city?

LYSISTRATA Leave that to US. rhythmically on the ground)

Oh Zeus, Oh Zeus. Of all the beasts that thou has wrought, What monster's worse than woman? Who shall encompass with his thought Their endless crimes? Let me tell you . . no

man!

They've seized the heights, the rock, the shrine.

But to what end I know not. There must be reasons for the crime (to audience)

Do you know why? (pause) I thought not.

MAN I Scrutinize those women. Assess their

rebuttals.

MAN Il 'Twould be culpable negligence not

to probe this affair to the bottom.

COMMISSIONER (as if before a jury) My first question is this, gentlemen of the ... What pos- Sible motive could you have had in seizing the Treasury?

LYSISTRATA We wanted to keep the money. No money, no uar.

COMMISSIONER You think that money is the cause of the war?

LYSISTRATA Money is the cause of all our problems.... They'll not get another penny.

COMMISSIONER Then what do you propose to do?

LYSISTRATA Control the Treasury.

COMMISSIONER Control the Treasury?

LYSISTRATA Control the Treasury. National economics and home economics—they're one and the same.

COMMISSIONER No, they're not.

ALL MEN You?

ALL WOMEN Us.

COMMISSIONER God save us.

LYSISTRATA Leave that to us.

COMMISSIONER Subversive nonsense!

LYSISTRATA Why get so upset? There's no stq»

ping us now.

COMMISSIONER It's a downright crime,

LYSISTRATA We must save you.

COMMISSIONER (Pouting) What if I don't want to be saved?

LYSISTRATA All the more reason to.

COMMISSIONER Might I ask where you got these ideas of war and peace?

LYSISTRATA If you'll allow me, I'll tell you.

COMMISSIONER Out with it then, or I'll .

LYSISTRATA Relax and put your hands down.

COMMISSIONER I can't help myself. You make me so damned angry.

CALONIKE Watch it.

COMMISSIONER Watch it yourself, you old wind bag.

LYSISTRATA Because of our natural self- restraint, we women have tolerated you men ever since this war began. We tolerated you and kept our thoughts to ourselves. (You never let us utter a peep, anyway.) But that dcrs not mean that we were happy with you. We knew you all too well. Very often, in the evening, at supF-time, we would listen to you talk ofsome enormously im-

Chapter 2 The Greeks 45

portant decision you had made. Deep down in- side all we felt was pain, but we would force a smile and ask, "How was the assembly today, dear? Did you get to talk about peace?" And my husband would answer, "None of your business. Shut up!" And I would shut up.

CALONIKE I wouldn't have.

COMMISSIONER I'd have shut your mouth for you.

LYSISTRATA But then we would find out

that you had passed a more disgusting resolu- tion, and I would ask you, "Darling, how did you

manage to do something so absolutely stupid?"

And my husband would glare at me and threaten

to slap my face if I did not attend to the distaff

side of things. And then he'd always quote

Homer: 'The men must see to the fighting."

LYSISTRATA "THE WOMEN MUST SEE TO

THE FIGHTING."

COMMISSIONER Beside the point, beside the

point. Things are in a tangle. How can you set

them straight?

LYSISTRATA Simple.

COMMISSIONER Explain.

LYSISTRATA Do you know anything about

weaving? Say the wool gets tangled. We lift it

up, like this, and work out the knots by wind-

ing it this way and that, up and down, on the

spindles. That's how we'll unravel the war. We'll

send our envoys this way and that, up and down,

all over Greece.

COMMISSIONER Wool? Spindles? Are you out

of your mind? War is a serious business.

COMMISSIONER Well done. well done.

LYSISTRATA What do you mean? Not to let us

advise against your idiocy was bad enough, but

then again we'd actually hear you out in public

saying things like, "Who can we draft? There's

not a man left in the country." Someone else

would say, "Quite right, not a man left. Pity." And

so we women got together and decided to save

Greece. There was no time to lose. Therefore, you

keep quiet for a change and listen to us. For we

have valuable advice to give this country. If you'll

listen, we'll put you back on your feet again.

COMMISSIONER You'll do what? I'm not go-

ing to put up with this. I'm not going ...

LYSISTRATA SILENCE!

COMMISSIONER I categorically decline to be

silent for a woman. Women wear hats.

LYSISTRATA If that's what is bothering you,

try one on and shut up! (puts one on him)

CALONIKE Here's a spindle.

MYRRHINE And a basket of wool.

CALONIKE Go on home. There's a sweetheart.

Put on your girdle, wind your wool, and mind

the beans don't boil over.

LYSISTRATA If you had any sense, you'd learn

a lesson from women's work.

COMMISSIONER Prove it.

LYSISTRATA The first thing we have to do is

give the wool a good wash, get the dirt out of the

fleece. We beat out the (worthless) musk and pick

out the hickies. Do the same for the city. Lambaste

the loafers and discard the dodgers. Then our

spoiled wool—that's like your [office-seeking par-

the spongers, decapitate the dab-

blers. But toss together into the wool basket the

good [resident) aliens, the allies, the strangers,

and begin spinning them into a ball. The colonies

are loose threads; pick up the ends and gather

them in. Wind them all into one, make a great

bobbin of yarn, and weave, without bias or seam,

a garment of government fit for the people.

COMMISSIONER It's all very well this weaving

and bobbing—when you have absolutely no

earthly idea what a war means.

LYSISTRATA You disgusting excuse for a man!

The pain of giving birth was only our first pain.

You took our boys and sent them to their deaths in

Sicily [site of a recent disastrous Athenian defeat].

COMMISSIONER Quiet! I beg you, let that

memory lie still.

46 Par/ One The Ancient World

LYSISTRATA And now, when youth and beauty

our husbands away, and we sleep alone. That'sbad enough for us married women. But I pity thevirgins growing old, alone in their beds.

fortune tellers, but they'll

MEN ALL There's something rotten in theCOMMISSIONER Well, men grow old too, you state of Athens. know.

An ominous aroma of constitutional rot. LYSISTRATA But it's not the same. A soldier's

My nose can smell a radical dissenter, discharged, bald as a coot he may be, and

An anarchist, tyrannous, feminist plot. zap! he marries a nymphette. But a woman only The Spartans are behind it.has one summer, and when that has slipped by, They must have mastermindedshe can spend her days and her years consulting This anarchist, tyrannous, feminist plot.

REVIEW QUESTIONS

1. List several reasons Medea gives to support her claim that "we women are the mostunfortunate creatures. 2. What were the grievances of Greek women as listed by Aristophanes? 3. What attitudes of ancient Greek males toward females are reflected in thecontemporary world?

6 The Peloponnesian War

After the defeat of the Persian invaders in 479 B.C., the Athenians organized a mu- tual defense pact, called the Delian League, among the smaller Greek states. With the largest population and greatest wealth and naval forces, Athens became the dominant power within the league. In the course of time, Athens converted the al- liance from an organization of equal sovereign states to an empire under Athenian

control. This outcome aroused suspicion among the other Greek states in the Pelo-

ponnese, particularly Sparta, that an imperialistic Athens was a threat to their

own independence and freedom. That fear precipitated the Peloponnesian War

(4.31--404 B.C.), which devastated the Greek world during the late fifth century B.C.

Elected general during the war, Thucydides was banished from Athens for

failing to rescue Amphipolis, a town under attack by Sparta. During his twenty-

year exile, Thucydides gathered information about the war, which he correctly

viewed as an event of world-historical importance. He was also right to regard his

account as a unique documentary achievement that would serve as a model for

future historians. Above all, Thucydides studied politics, the lifeblood of Athenian society. For

him, history was essentially the study of political behavior. Consistent with the

Greek character, Thucydides sought underlying patterns and general truths per-

taining to statesmanship and political power. His chronicle contains rich insights