Place -- The setting of the play should be one location, usually on the street in front of an architectural structure.
Time -- The action of the play should represent the passage of no more than twenty-four hours. Previous events leading to the action are recounted on stage as exposition.
Action -- No action or scene in the play is a digression. All actions in the play must contribute directly to the single plotline.
The war between the sexes.
Abstinence brings about peace.
Make love not war.
“Never underestimate the power of a woman.” (Lysistrata)
The brute man is saved by the love of a good woman.
The power of united nations.
Moral chaos ensues when women are missing.
Brawn vs. Brains.
Nakedness reveals the truth
“Life with women is hell. Life without women is hell, too.” (Chorus of Men)
Test the three unities against the play Lysistrata. Did Aristophanes follow these rules?
Discuss the 1960s-70s slogan, from the Viet Nam era, “Make love not war” in relation to the theme of Lysistrata.
Classic Greek plays were all performed by men in masks. Men played all the parts, including the women’s parts. Discuss the irony of men playing women in this play.
How does the audience view the character of Lysistrata? What figure(s) in mythology or tragedy does she most resemble? Would an ancient Greek audience respond to her differently than today’s audiences?
How are the “foreigners” depicted in this play? Discuss how Lysistrata and the Athenian women respond to their initial observations of the women from other lands as they arrive at the top of the play. Discuss differences in language, dialect, and slang.
How would modern audiences respond if Lysistrata were performed only by men? How would modern audiences respond to the phalli and nudity?
Discuss Aristophanes uses of puns and metaphors.