Lysistrata is one of the earliest theatrical depictions of the battle of the sexes. In the male-dominated society of Ancient Greece, Lysistrata is on a mission to end the Peloponnesian War taking place between the Greek states. She knows that the only way to stop the men being so fixated upon war, is to shock them into negotiating peace. Gathering together the women affected by the wars, she proposes withholding sexual relations between them and their husbands and lovers until the men agree to talk peace. However, the men of Greece are not so easy to manipulate, and the women’s plan soon enrages them, sparking off a battle of the sexes. Ultimately physical desire, loneliness, and marital needs get the better of the men, and they are induced to negotiate peace talks over the naked body of a beautiful handmaiden. With the warring states brought back together, celebrations commence and couples are reunited.
Lysistrata guide sections