Lysistrata Criticism

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By 411 B.C., the Peloponnesian War had lasted twenty years, and Athens was in a state of turmoil. The plague of a few years earlier had decimated the population, killing anywhere from one-third to two-thirds of the people. At the time of the initial presentation of Aristophanes' Lysistrata, probably in January of 411 B.C., the political atmosphere of Athens was one of unrest. Within months, extremists would overthrow the democracy of Athens, and engage in open negotiations with Sparta. Although these extremists would soon be overthrown, their initial success indicates how unstable the atmosphere of Athens was at the time. But those events were still six months away at the time of Aristophanes' play, and there were other events that revealed how difficult life had become for Athenians. Athens had only recently suffered a significant and disastrous military loss in the attempted invasion of Sicily. With the destruction...

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This section contains 713 words
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Lysistrata from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.