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Lysistrata

Aristophanes

Character List

Summary

Character Analysis

Lysistrata -  Lysistrata is an Athenian woman who is sick and tired of war and the treatment of women in Athens. Lysistrata gathers the women of Sparta and Athens together to solve these social ills and finds success and power in her quest. Lysistrata is the least feminine of the women from either Athens or Sparta, and her masculinity helps her gain respect among the men.

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Kleonike -  Kleonike is the next-door neighbor of Lysistrata and is the first to show up at Lysistrata's meeting of women. Kleonike embraces her feminine side and is delighted that Lysistrata's scheme for peace involves garments like negligees.
Myrrhine -  If rank were imposed, Myrrhine would be the second strongest woman in Lysistrata. Myrrhine is able to seduce her husband, Kinesias, but she refuses sex with him just at the last minute.
Lampito -  Lampito is representative of Spartan women. Lampito is a large, well-built woman who American audiences might imagine with a thick Appalachian accent (by Arrowsmith's translation, Sparta was the Greek equivalent of the stereotypically South). Lampito brings the Spartan women into Lysistrata's plan.
Ismenia -  Ismenia is a Boitian girl who has a nice body, keeps herself well tended, and is quite possibly mute.
Korinthian Girl -  This lady accompanies Ismenia and Lampito to Lysistrata's meeting and is known for her vast posterior bodily feature.
Policewoman -  The Policewoman kindly offers her shield up for the women to make a sacrifice upon.
Koryphaios of Men -  The Koryphaios of Men, a stubborn and rather grouchy fellow, leads the Chorus of Old Men around Athens.
Chorus of Old Men -  The Chorus of Old Men live up to their title; the chorus is made up of twelve old men who teeter around Athens attempting to keep the women in line. Although, unsuccessful in their civic duties, the Chorus of Old Men strike up some fantastical misogynistic melodies and are a generally comedic element of the play.

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Koryphaios of Women -  Like the Koryphaios of Men, the Koryphaios of Women leads the Chorus of Old Women around. The Koryphaios of Women leads a successful seizure of the Akropolis and outwits the men in every possible way.
Chorus of Old Women -  The Chorus of Old Women seizes and then protects the Akropolis from the Chorus of Old Men. The Chorus of Old Women, although frail, fights to the last with the men and finds victory in the end.

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Commissioner of Public Safety -  The Commissioner of Public Safety is apparently the head of security and law in Athens, but is completely overwhelmed by the women and ends up being dressed as a woman himself. Lysistrata has a lengthy conversation with the Commissioner about the future of Athens and peace in the region, but the Commissioner is very slow to understand her logic.
Four Policemen -  These Policemen are humiliated again and again by the women. The women, brandishing nothing but lamps, chamber pots and other various household utensils, scare these policemen away.
Kinesias -  The needy, desperate clown that Myrrhine calls her husband. Kinesias is the first man to be affected by the sex strike and comes to the Akropolis, fully enflamed.

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Peace -  Lysistrata's handmaid. Peace is the unclothed beauty of a woman whom Lysistrata displays and uses during her final plea for peace between Athens and Sparta. Terribly aroused and uncomfortable, the men quickly discuss the terms of a truce, all the while staring at Peace's body.

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