Thursday, March 5, 2009

I like Old Comedy

"...Lay one cuticle on her, and I shall beat you till you shit (line 440-41)." I don't know which is funnier; the fact that this line is uttered by an old woman as a legitimate threat or that this entire play would make a perfect MTV reality series. It could just be me, but every example of flyting contained in Lysistrata just brings up the image of the bitchy girl yelling and screaming on any given version of MTV's "The Real World." I hate everything about MTV for the very reason that it creates drama when none need exist. They don't even play music anymore. Lysistrata is similar in the fact that drama is being created around a completely absurd and non-realistic theme. However, it is presented as a comedy and the clever insults combined with a humorous translation make this play the most entertaining piece of classical literature I have ever read.

As I read, I feel like I am experiencing a drawn out version of Steiners' first conflict, Men vs. Women. Now I will share some of the funniest quotes I have found relating to this conflict so far.

Lampito: "Shit, it's no easy thing to lie in bed alone without no dong...But count me in. Peace we just gotta have (line 143-5)."

Councilor: "As long as men can get it up--
Lysistrata: "Why don't you die and shut it up?" (line 599)

Chorus: "...Justice and Truth rely on those with balls." (line 661)

Monday, March 2, 2009


When I started reading Lysistrata, I knew something was a little different from the first page. Words like "dildo" and "dick" started appearing and I had to check the cover of the book to make sure I wasn't reading the transcript of a 16 year olds online conversation. After the shock of seeing overly descriptive explatives in an assigned reading wore off, I found myself legitimately interested in the plot.

As we already know, past possesses the present. Perhaps Lysistrata is where the idea of using physical desires as elements of manipulation first began. Regardless, I found the reaction of the men, when robbed of their sex lives, hilarious and completely applicable to the reactions of present-day teenagers. Words like slut and rancid hag are still muttered with disgust by rejected 16 year olds all the time when their first attempts to "circle the bases" inevitably go astray. Even fully matured adults are still subject to sexual manipulation. Ever seen that Miller Lite commercial with the two beautiful women wrestling in a fountain? In short, I don't think I will ever forget "Great taste" or "Less filling" for as long as I live. The theme is prevalent in movies as well. Titles like "40 Days and 40 Nights" and "American Pie" show the extreme power physical desire has over the consciousness of humans. Thanks to Lysistrata, females understand this power and in my biased opinion use it to their benefit frequently.