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Lysistrata

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Summary

Wool Metaphor–Myrrhine's Seduction

Summary Wool Metaphor–Myrrhine's Seduction

The Amazons are known as a tribe of women who excelled in war craft and lived near the southeastern coast of the Black Sea. The Amazons rejected all men from their tribe. After getting pregnant, women would kill their mates and only keep female children. Many critics have pointed out how women like the Amazons are used as the representative female threat to male power. Like the myth of the Amazons, the women of Lysistrata refuse sexual relations with the men and occupy the Akropolis. The Amazon women over took the Akropolis as survived in the painting on the Stoa Poikile and the metopes on the Parthenon. The Lemnian women are seen various times in Greek literature. Aphrodite made the Lemnian women have an odor to repel their husbands. When the husbands took Thracian women captives and concubines, the women murdered all the men on the island of Lemnos. The daughter of the king, Hysipyle, did not kill her father, but sent him out to sea. Hysipyle became ruler of the women. When Jason and the Argonauts ventured to Lemnos, Hysipyle married Jason and restored heterosexuality to the island. Like the battle of the choruses, the women of Lemnos battle the men. Also the chorus of women attempts to repel the men of the chorus with their odors (unfortunately not made putrid enough by Aphrodite).

The similarity between these mythic tribes and the women of Lysistrata symbolically equates the women with their threatening ancestors. The women pose a great threat to the men of Athens; the similarity of the women of Lysistrata to the actual mythological women who defeated men make the women's threats more potent. It is interesting, however, that in the mythology of the Amazons and the women of Lemnos the women control their own governments. For a while this is somewhat true in Lysistrata, but ultimately the women do not include themselves in the future social and political scheme of Athens (Lysistrata's wool metaphor), but have merely taken over as a temporary fix to restore order to the country.