2012 Challenges, Books, The Classics Club

Book 158: Lysistrata/The Acharnians/The Clouds – Aristophanes

Aristophanes - Lysistrata and Other PlaysShort and sweet. I’m finished!

I am done with all of my challenges for 2012! Upon completion of this book I wrapped up the Back to the Classics Challenge, so keep an eye out for the wrap up post on Thursday; this book also counts for the Classics Club.

I originally chose Lysistrata as my “Classic Play” for the Back to the Classics Challenge, but when I realized how short it was I felt guilty so found this version of the play accompanied by The Acharnians and The Clouds. I had a vague idea of Lysistrata‘s themes and story and I’m glad I read it. The other two I’m pretty sure I could’ve done without. It has been so long since I read an Ancient Greek play that these really were a struggle and although I’m glad I read them, I will not go out of my way at all in the near future to read anymore Ancient Greek works.

The Acharnians is somewhat still pertinent today, dealing with politicians and misappropriated funds and poking fun at politicians. I had no idea who most anyone was but there were a lot of end notes which tried to explain things. I could see the humor and satire in the play but it was sort of meh.

The Clouds was a bit more interesting in the fact it dealt with the moral and social responsibilities of education and educators. Through absurd arguments and situations, Aristophanes forces the audience to look at how silly philosophers are to sit around and think/teach.

Lysistrata was by far the best. It dealt with war and women’s response to war. Lysistrata and her fellow women create a pact with women throughout the warring countries to withhold sex from their husbands/boyfriends until peace is reached. And pretty much hilarity ensues. I can imagine this on the stage and as a film adaptation being quite humorous.

Recommendation: Read Lysistrata, but pass on the other two unless you’re REALLY interested in Ancient Greece.


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