Aristophanes’ Lysistrata is one of the most famous plays to have survived from ancient Greece, and its
coarse sexual humor retains the ability to shock the audience (or reader) even today, over two millennia
later. But how are we to interpret its message? Ancient Greece was a a patriarchal society, in which men
exercised the power in public. Imagine that you were a man in the audience–the sort of person who fights
in wars and serves in government–when the play was first performed in 411 BCE, during the war between
Athens and Sparta (The Peloponnesian War, 431-404 BCE). How do you think you would have responded?
What do you think Aristophanes hoped his audience would take from this strange play? Provide a response
of at least 250 words.