Raw Text


NOTE: The ancient Greek texts of Aristophanes’ plays do not have character assignments or stage directions. All that exists in the ancient Greek is the lines. We are left to guess who may have said what, and many different translators guess very differently. Therefore, I am providing the raw text, for those who want to make that decision themselves. I have provided groupings of the lines I consider likely, but even that can be changedtwo speeches can be combined, or alternatively one speech can be split into its component sentences.

Women! Invite them to a Bacchanalia, or a Pan-analia or an Aphrodite-analia, they come running, tambourines in hand, but now there’s no one to be seen. Wait, there’s one, my neighbor Calonice. Hello, my friend.

Good morning, Lysistrata. Don’t be so down, my dear, it ruins your face when you knot up your brows like that.

Oh, Calonice, I’m so upset that it feels like my heart’s about to burst. Men think we are so shrewd and cunning…

They’re right about that!

But look around you. We were supposed to meet on important business, but instead all the women are lying around, sleeping.

They’ll be here soon, my dear, don’t worry. Most of the women are stuck inside, either taking care of their husbands, or waking up their servants, or putting their children to bed, or giving their babies a bath or some milk.

The business that I want to talk about is much more important than all that.

What is it all about? Is it something big?

Very big. Huge.

And hard, too?

Yes, it’s pretty hard.

By Zeus, you’d think everyone would be coming by now!

No, no, no. It’s nothing like that. If it were, I’m sure everyone would have been here long ago. No, this is about a plan that’s been bouncing around in my mind during many sleepless nights.

You’ve been bouncing around all night? Sounds like a fun game.

This game will lead the women to save all of Greece.

The women? That doesn’t sound like a game we can win.

It’s a game we must win, for the sake of our country’s future. Because, if we don’t, Peloponnesia will be destroyed.

So what? Good riddance!

And so will Thebes.

Thebes too? But they make such good eels there.

And, as for Athens—well, I won’t say it, but you know what I mean. But all that can be avoided, if we women— not just the Athenians, but the Peloponnesians and the Thebans—join together.

What are we supposed to do? We don’t have many options. All we can do is lie around in slinky gowns, all made up and perfumed, wearing pretty little shoes.

But that’s exactly what we can do. That’s how we’ll save Greece. By lying around in our slinky gowns, all made up and perfumed.

How will that save us?

You’ll see, soon enough the men will drop their spears.

I’d better buy some new perfume.

Put down their shields.

I’ll buy a new gown, too, extra-slinky.

And sheath their swords.

And I have the perfect shoes to go with it.

So tell me, don’t you think the women should have come?

They should have flown here!

They’re on Athenian time, always late. But I would have thought that at least the women from one of the islands would have been here.

Look! I see them coming now. And there’s some more, over there. And—ugh, where are those women from?

Anagryra, where everyone is smelly.

Are we late, Lysistrata? Lysistrata? Why won’t you answer me?

If you can’t be bothered to come on time for such important business, Myrrhina, why should I bother to answer you?

I couldn’t find my girdle in the dark. But if the matter’s so pressing, then by all means, tell us at once.

Not yet. We’re stilling waiting for the Thebans and the Peloponnesians.

Yes, good idea. Oh look, there’s Lampito.

Welcome Lampito, my dear! How are things in Sparta?

You look wonderful. What a physique! You look like you could throttle a bull!

Yes, me can throttle bull! Me do gymnastics, make lots of muscles!

Wow! Look at those boobs!

Now me feel like sacrificial cow.

And who’s your young friend?

Is fancy Theban lady.

Thebes! The city of eels and perfectly trimmed gardens.

I see that’s not all you trim, in Thebes.

And who’s your other friend?

Is pretty Corinthian.

Yes, she’s genuine Corinthian.

But why you call all us women here?

I will explain.

Yes, tell us why.

What is this important business?

I’ll tell you. But answer me one question first.

Ask it.

Don’t you miss your husbands, the fathers of your babies?

I would be willing to bet that every one of you has a husband who’s away at war right now.

That’s true. Mine’s been in Thrace for the last five months, keeping his eye out for traitors.

And mine’s been in Pylos for the last seven months.

Mine is going to war again as soon as coming back home.

And there aren’t even any spare lovers around for us, while they’re gone! I used to use those toys from Miletus as a substitute, but now we’re at war with them, too! So don’t you think we need to find a way to stop the fighting?

Yes we do, even if it means selling my best clothes—I can use the money to get drunk and celebrate afterwards!

You could cut me up and serve me like a flounder if it would help.

Me climb to top of big mountain for peace!

Good! Then I’ll tell you my secret plan. My sisters, if we really mean to make the men make peace, there’s only one way, we must promise not to…

Promise not to what? Please tell us!

But will you do it?

We will, even if it kills us.

This is our promise: No more fucking!. Hey! What’s wrong? Where are you going? Why are you biting your lips and shaking your heads? Why are you turning so pale? Will you do it or won’t you? What’s your answer?

Forget it. Let the war go on.

Yes, I agree, let the war go on.

And what do you say, my pretty little flounder, who just agreed to be served up as dinner for peace.

Anything but that. I’ll walk through fire if need be, but fucking—there’s nothing like it, darling.

And what do you say?

I agree with her; I’d rather walk through fire.

Oh, women, women! Are we nothing but a frail sex? No wonder such tragedies are written about us, always the same, we make love and then get rid of the baby. Are we nothing more? Will you support me at least, Lampito?

Not fucking is difficult, is true. Is nice to have man in bed. But war is more difficult. So if no fucking for no war then

yes, no fucking, I say.

Oh my dear, dear, true friend, you are the only real woman here!

But if we don’t—oh, I can’t even say it—will that really help us achieve peace?

Of course it will. If we sit around in sexy see-through clothing, then walk by them naked, letting them see our clean-shaven pussies, they’ll get a such a hard-on that they’ll be dying to screw us. And when we don’t let them—believe me, they’ll declare peace soon enough.

Is like story of Meneleus and Helen of Troy. When he saw her boobs, he say no kill her.

But what if they leave us?

That won’t get them much sex, will it?

What if they try to drag us into bed?

Hold on to the doorway.

What if they try to take us by force?

Don’t let them enjoy it. Besides, no husband wants to force his wife, there’s no pleasure in that. They’ll give up that game soon enough.

Very well. If you insist on it, that’s what we will do.

We Spartans will do this thing and make our husbands do peace, no lies this time. But Athenians have foolish democracy, so always mob rules. How will you make men do peace?

Don’t worry, we have our ways too.

Is impossible. Athenians too rich from war. While they rich, Athenians no want peace.

That’s where the second part of my plan takes effect. This very morning, a group of Athenian women is going to go up to the Acropolis. They will pretend that they are bringing a sacrifice to the temple, but when they get there they will seize the Acropolis and all the wealth found there.

Is good plan! No gold, no war!

Come now, Lampito, let’s make an oath to make it all official.

Yes, say oath, and we repeat.

Gladly. All right, everyone, don’t just stand around gaping.

Get me a big shield and some entrails.

What are we going to swear on?

In Aeschylus, they always sacrifice a sheep and throw its entrails on a shield.

Should we really swear for peace over a shield?

Then what’s a good oath for us women?

Maybe we should kill a gray mare, and use those entrails.

Where would we get a gray mare?

Well then, what are we going to swear on?

Listen, what we need is a jug of Thasian wine and a giant cup to pour it in. And this will be our oath: We will solemnly swear—not to put a drop of water in our wine.

Is good oath!

Then bring me a cup and a jug of wine.

What a great cup! It’s going to be fun to empty it!

Put down the cup, and lay your hands upon the sacrifice.

Oh mighty Goddess, Sweet Persuasion, and you, giant cup, who has given us such joy through the years, hear our plea, and accept our sacrifice, for our great cause!

Oh, the blood doth flow from this wonderful beast!

And smells good too!

May I swear first?

No, by Aphrodite, not unless you draw the first lot.

We will all swear at once. Put your hands on the cup, everyone, and repeat after me.

I will not go near my husband or my lover.

I will not go near my husband or my lover.

Speak up—No matter how big a hard-on he has.

No matter how big a hard-on he has.

Oh, Lysistrata, I can’t take it.

I will be completely celibate,

I will be completely celibate,

And wear nothing but seductive clothing,

And wear nothing but seductive clothing,

And get my husband as horny as possible.

And get my husband as horny as possible.

But I will never willingly give in to him,

But I will never willingly give in to him,

No matter how he pressures me.

No matter how he pressures me.

And if he tries to force me,

And if he tries to force me,

I will not do the thing where I put my legs up over his head.

I will not do the thing where I put my legs up over his head.

Nor will I pretend to be a lioness he has caught in the forest.

Nor will I pretend to be a lioness he has caught in the forest.

If I keep my oath, let my cup be filled with nothing but wine.

If I keep my oath, let my cup be filled with nothing but wine.

And if I break it, let it be filled with nothing but water.

And if I break it, let it be filled with nothing but water.

Do you all solemnly swear this oath?

We do.

Good. Then I’ll drink this wine to finalize it.

Leave a little for us, dear. We’re supposed to share this, I thought.

Is much noise! What means noise?

It’s what I said. The women have seized the Acropolis.

Hurry back to Sparta, Lampito, and spread the word there, but you’d better leave a few of your friends to prove your good will. We’ll go up to the Acropolis now and help the women hold the gates.

Won’t the men be coming soon to take it back?

Let them come! They can’t scare us with their threats or fire. We will only open the gates when our conditions are met!

By Aphrodite, that’s the spirit. We’ll show them that women are a strong and wily sex.

All right, steady men! Let’s bring in some fuel for a fire!

Let’s all sing a burning song!

Step by step by step we’re coming near.
These torches are a thing to fear.
You can hear the burning, crackling sound of them right now.

One by one by one we’ll get you out,
Of that you should not have a doubt.
We won’t be defeated by this group of angry sows.

Just like when we burned the Spartans out.
We made them yell and scream and shout.
They retreated from their fortress and you’ll flee us too.

Don’t you think you’d like to go away?
Go home and feed your kids today.
If you don’t, you’ll wish you had when you’re a barbeque!

Good going men, keep those fires burning bright. Come on out, women, or we’ll burn the Acropolis down. We’ll smoke you out! We’ll—great Zeus, I’m tired. Don’t we have any backup forces? Oh Nike, Goddess of victory, aid us in our noble cause!

They’re about to burn us to the ground. Get ready to defend yourselves, ladies. Let’s all sing a quenching song.

Don’t come near us with those torches bright,
For we are all prepared to fight.
It won’t be easy to defeat this flock of wily hens,

Nike, help us beat this enemy.
We want to have our victory.
We won’t be dislodged from here by these feeble men.

What do you think you’re up to, you old villain! No man of virtue would act as you do.

Here’s an unexpected sight! A swarm of women gathered to defend the gates.

Frightened? This is just a fraction of us. Wait till you see how many of us are inside.

Should we be listening to this prattle? Let’s crack our sticks over their backs instead, that will make them see reason.

Put down your cups of water, ladies, and get ready to fight.

Let’s give them a couple of whacks on the noses, that will quiet them down.

Go ahead, here’s my face, whack all you like, but don’t expect to have your balls when you’re done.

Be quiet or I’ll beat your old bones.

If you so much as touch me…

Yes, what are you going to do?

I’ll chew through your chest and eat your entrails.

Euripides was right! Women are shameless!

Pick up your cups of water again, ladies.

What are you going to do with that water, you damned crazy bitches?

What are you going to do with that fire? Burn yourselves to the ground?

No, just you and your friends.

Well, our water will put out that fire.

That will put out our fire?

Yes, you’ll see.

You’re lucky I don’t just burn you with my torch.

Get some soap, because you’re about to have a bath.

How impudent!

I’m a free woman and can say what I wish.

Fire, burn her hair off!

Water, do your duty!

Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit!

Oh sorry, was it hot?

Hot? Not hot. Dear Zeus, enough!

I was just watering you, to help you grow.

I’m freezing cold and my balls are shrinking!

Then use your fires to warm them.

What’s all this noise about? Is it the women, again, with their partying and their tambourines? I was in Assembly, the other day, and Demostratus was speaking, when I suddenly heard a woman shrieking “Woe, woe Adonis”! It was coming from above our heads! We climbed up, and we found Demostratus’ wife dancing up there, wailing about Adonis. “Alas, poor sweet Adonis!” No wonder Demostratus is always in a bad mood. Have you no shame, women?

You don’t know the half of it, Lord Magistrate! They dumped water all over me, so now I’m totally soaked, and it looks like I can’t hold it in!

It serves us right! We encourage them in their wantonness. Listen to what I heard a man say in the marketplace: “Jeweller,” he said, “you remember this trinket of my wife’s? Well, she was partying, last night, when a rod came loose and thrust straight through the hole. It went in, and it went out, again and again. I’m not sure what to do, because I’m leaving town, but maybe you could drop by and make sure that hole gets what it needs.” And another said to a shoemaker “My wife’s sandal pinches her. Maybe you can come by and open up her orifice a bit.” And now, see where all this has lead? Here I am, a Magistrate, come to purchase oar blades for our battleships, and I find the Treasury closed and the gates barred by these ridiculous women. Well, bring me a crowbar, and I’ll stop their insolence. What are you all gaping at?

Are you looking for a tavern? Is that all you ever think of, drinking? Get me a crowbar, and I’ll pry these gates open.

Don’t bother with your crowbars, I’ll come out freely. You don’t need crowbars today, just common sense.

Arrest her! Do you hear me? Tie her hands behind her back!

By Artemis, if he touches me, he’ll regret it.

What are you, afraid? Grab her round the waist, the two of you, and tie her up!

Lay one hand on her, and I’ll knock you senseless.

Grab that one first, she talks too much.

If you so much as touch her, you’ll be needing a surgeon soon.

What’s that you say? Grab this one too. I’ll put an end to this!

By Artemis, if you get near her, I’ll pull your hairs out one by one!

Are we going to be defeated by a mob of women? Come men, let’s close ranks and charge!

Charge away. Inside there are four more battalions of us women, armed to the teeth and ready to fight!

Advance, men, and capture them!

Attack, staunch ladies, bold allies! Attack barmaids, attack baker women, attack my garlic sellers, my grain sellers, my egg sellers, slap them and insult them!

Enough! No need for us to rob them blind, like corpses on a battlefield.

How terrible for my men.

Did you think it would be so easy to defeat a battalion of freeborn women? You think we feel no thirst for glory?

I know you women are thirsty, but it’s usually for wine.

Sir, why are you bothering to try to discuss things with these women? They are wild beasts! Don’t you see how they dumped water all over me?

We wouldn’t have touched you, if you hadn’t come to attack us. I myself am nothing but a sweet young maiden,

unless provoked. But when you stick your hand into a beehive, you have to expect to get stung!

Ask them what they’re doing here. But don’t believe their answers. We need to get to the bottom of this.

Why have you barred the gates?

To keep you away from the money and put an end to this war.

That’s what you think the war is about, money?

That’s what every dispute is about, corrupt politicians trying to find a way to steal. Well, they’re not getting a single piece of silver out of here.

How are you going to prevent them?

We are the Treasurers now.

Are you?

Certainly. You don’t think we can do it? Don’t we manage the household finances?

That’s different.

In what way is it different?

We need this money for the war.

But you don’t need the war at all.

Yes we do, it’s a matter of security!

We’ll keep you safe.

You will?

Yes, we will!

That’s absurd!

We'll keep you safe, whether you like it or not.

Impudent hussy!

Yes, it’s terrible, I know. But that’s what we’re going to do.

How shameful!

Nonetheless, we’re saving you.

What if I don’t want to be saved?

All the more reason, then!

What makes you think you can meddle in matters of war and peace?

I’ll tell you.

You had better tell me quickly, or else!

Be quiet and behave yourself!

That’s too much! You’re making me furious!

You had better not get too angry, you’ll just regret it.

Shut up, you old hag! You speak, Lysistrata.

With pleasure. I’ve been quiet for too long. All I’ve done recently is to sit at home, listening to my husband and the rest of you make mistakes and mismanage your affairs. When it got too much, when you were about to do something really foolish, I would just say “How did it go in the Assembly today, dear? Are we any closer to peace?” To which my husband would resprespond “What’s it to you? Hold your tongue!”

I didn’t hold mine!

If you were my wife, you would have.

As for me, I held my tongue. Soon you all would do something even more foolish and wrongheaded, and still I would say sweetly “My dear, don’t you think that last decree was just a little foolhardy?” And, in a vicious, angry mood, my husband would respond “Just go back to your weaving, if you know what’s good for you. War is for men and men only!”

Exactly! Well put!

When you make a mess out of everything, shouldn’t we give some helpful advice? But it got worse. Now, we hear you all complaining in the streets. “There’s not a man left to defend us,” one man says. “No, what’s happened to everyone?” says another. That’s when we got together and decided to start changing things. And you would be wise to shut up and listen, this time, if you want us to save you.

You will save us? What a horrible, shameful suggestion.

Be silent!

Don’t order me about, woman!

Then go ahead and die, you will soon enough, on the path you’re taking. You’re rich, you can buy yourself a nice funeral bier. I’ll bake you a funeral cake, if you like.

You can borrow two coins from the treasury, one for each eye.

And here are some pretty garlands for your hair.

What else do you need? Hurry up, Charon is waiting for you.

I’ve never been treated so poorly! How insulting! I will show myself to the other magistrates, flowers and all, and we’ll see what they say.

I’m sorry, you’re right, we forgot to lay you out for three days, as befits your position. Don’t worry, though, we’ll make a sacrifice in your esteemed memory, first thing tomorrow.

Stand up, men, and get ready to dance for your freedom!

The women are the pawns of those Spartan dogs.
They have betrayed us and for no cause.
Without sex what will happen to our great State?
Democracy will end if we can’t copulate.

If we let the women get away with this, there will be no end to it! They’ll build their own navies. Or worse, they’re form their own cavalry, and, as you all know, they have an unfair advantage there. Women’s behinds just fit on horses better. Soon there will be thousands of them, running us all down on horseback, like Amazons! We have to stop them now, while we have the chance.

Get ready women, to sing and dance our response to their slander!

We‘ve spent our lives in this great city.
If you own it partly then so do we.
We won’t let you ruin it in ways we abhor.
No longer will we let you send our children to war.

You’ll never have power over us, no matter how many laws you pass. Not if those laws keep changing your friends into your enemies. To celebrate the feast of Hecate, I invited a number of my Theban friends and neighbors to my home. They were going to bring some of their delicious eels with them. But because you had passed a law suddenly making them our enemy, I had no guests, nor eels. And you’ll just keep on making your laws, until someone picks you up and tosses you out.

Oh, glorious leader, why do you look so troubled?

It’s the frail hearts of women that trouble me so.

What is it? What’s wrong?

It’s true, it’s true!

Tell your troubles to your friends, great queen!

It’s difficult to talk about, but impossible to hide.

Tell us, don’t protect us from this calamity.

In brief—the women want to get laid.

Oh Zeus! Oh Zeus!

What’s the point of calling for Zeus? I can no longer keep the minxes inside. They slip out everywhere. One of them was digging a hole out next to the shrine to Pan. Another tried to climb down by rope. A third has disappeared altogether. A fourth attempted to have a giant sparrow fly her out, so she could visit some stud. I had to drag her back by her hair. They make up all sorts of lies. There’s one of our deserters. Hey, you there. What’s your hurry?

I just need to run home for a second. I have some fine imported wool, there, which I’m afraid is being eaten up by moths.

Moths indeed! Go back inside.

I’ll come back immediately, I promise. I just need to spread it out on the bed.

Forget it, stay here. You’re not going to spread out anything on that bed today.

Then I have to leave my wool to be ruined?

If necessary, yes.

Oh, my flax! Alas for flax!

Here’s another, using flax as her excuse. Come, come, get back here.

In a moment, just a moment. I’m very worried about my flax, you see. I forgot to comb its little clit, I mean to comb it a little bit.

If you start that sort of combing, every woman here will want to comb her flax as well.

Oh, great goddess, please grant that I not give birth till I have left this hallowed ground.

What’s this act?

The baby’s going to pop out any minute!

But you weren’t pregnant yesterday.

Well, I am today. Oh, Lysistrata, let me find a midwife, quickly!

What’s this tale that you are telling? Your stomach feels hard as a rock.

Great heavens, it’s a boy!

Not unless he’s made of bronze. Oh, you foolish woman. You’ve stolen this helmet right from off a sacred statue, so you could look pregnant.

And so I am, by Zeus!

Then what’s this helmet for?

I didn’t want to give birth on hallowed ground, so I thought I could squat over this helmet, like pigeons do.

That’s the most ridiculous excuse I’ve ever heard. Stay here. You have to, anyway. You have to wait three days before you can name your bouncing, baby helmet.

But I can’t sleep here. Do you know there are snakes that guard the temple?

And the owls hoot all night. I will die from lack of sleep.

Enough of this! I know you miss your husbands. But they miss you as well. They are spending terrible nights without us. I am sure of it. And I have an oracle right here which assures us we will be victorious in the end.

Tell us what it says.

Then everyone, be silent. Forsooth, there shall come a day when the swallows are gathered together upon a hilltop, and they shall shun boinking and keep themselves chaste, and yea, Zeus himself shall put those that were under over and those that were over under.

So we’ll be on top?

But if these swallows should bicker and try to flee their hilltop and make up stories about flax, all will say that there is no baser bird than the swallow, forevermore.

Wow, that’s a very specific prophesy!

Great Zeus, let us not falter in our resolve. Oh friends, dear friends, let us return to our task. It would be shameful indeed to fail such a great oracle.

Once there was a savvy little boy.
Liked to play with hares and hounds and toys.
Spent his day in pretty little hills.
Far away from girls and other thrills.
Did he miss the company of their sex?
Not our boy, he was more complex.
He sought joy in nature which he found
Did not annoy, but was more profound.

May I, dearie, kiss your eyes?

Tears will flow from him who tries.

Then I’ll give you a big kick.

Your pubic hair is awfully thick.

It shows we’re men, if you please, our hair scares all our enemies!

There was a man, Timon was his name.
What a man, he deserved his fame.
Found one can live within the wild.
He began to flee those he reviled.
Whom did he flee from, do you know?
If you do, it’s very apropos.
We’ll tell you, it’s not women whom he feared.
Here’s a clue: It’s the sex that wears a beard.

Shall I punch you on the arm?

Your punches can do me no harm.

A kick would take a greater toll.

Watch out or else we’ll see your hole,

And if you did, so what we say, you’ll find no hair on us today!

Look over there, women, look over there!

What’s the matter? What’s wrong?

A man! A man! He’s coming here, and he’s wild with desire! Oh Aphrodite, let us hold fast to our resolve!

Where is this man?

Up there, by the Temple of Demeter.

Yes, I see him. But who is he?

Does anyone know who he is?

I know him! It’s my husband, Cinesias.

Perfect! Then it will be your job to torture him, inflame him, and torment him with desire. Use every seductive tool you have. Do anything you need to, except the one thing we have all sworn not to do.

Trust me, I will.

I’ll help you turn up the heat. Everyone else, stay inside.

Oh! I can’t take much more of this. Ohhhhh! It feels like I’m being tortured, on the rack.

Who is this who tries to pass through our defenses?

I do.

What, a man?

Most definitely.

Get out.

Who are you to tell me to leave?

I’m today’s guard.

Then please, tell Myrrhina to come out.

Who are you?

I am her husband, Cinesias.

Cinesias! That’s a familiar name, here. Your wife is always talking about you. She can’t eat so much as an apple or an egg without crying out: “Here’s to my love, Cinesias!”

The gods be praised!

Yes, it’s true. And when she talks about other men, she always says “They’re nothing, next to my dear Cinesias.”

Oh please, call her!

And what will you give me, if I do?

Whatever you want. You want to see what I can find here, underneath my robe?

Save that for your wife. I’ll go and get her.

Please, be quick! My life has been empty since she left home and took away my happiness. I just sit at home alone, eating food I can barely taste. It’s been so hard, so very, very, very hard, and it keeps getting harder.

Oh, Lysistrata, I love him so much, but he does not want my love. No! I will not go to him.

What are you saying Myrrhina, my sweet, my darling?

Come down to me, please come down!

No, I won’t. Not to you!

What, you won’t come when I call?

Why should I? You don’t want me.

I don’t want you? Can’t you see how I’m bursting to see you?


No, don’t go! Listen, your child’s calling to you, do you hear it?

Mamma! Mamma! Mamma!

You see? The child hasn’t been washed for a week! How could you do that to your baby?

My poor baby! Doesn’t your father take care of you at all?

No. Come down and take care of your baby, my sweet.

Oh, it’s hard to be a mother! Well, if I must, I must.

She looks younger and more beautiful than ever! And she’s gotten so forceful and a little cruel even—By the gods, she’s sexy.

How are you doing, my sweet? Such a cute little baby with such a nasty Daddy. Mommy’s going to give you a little kiss, my darling.

You should be ashamed of yourself, letting those other women lead you around. They’ve just been making both of us miserable.

Don’t touch me!

Everything at home is a total mess!

I don’t care.

You know what’s happening? Chickens are eating your clothes! What do you think about that?

Not so much.

And plus, well, Aphrodite says that you have a sacred duty as my wife, and you haven’t been doing it!

And I won’t be doing it, until you end the war.

All right, fine, we’ll end the war.

Good. Come back and tell me when it’s over. My oath keeps me celibate till then.

Well—lie here on the ground, just for a moment, and we can talk.

No, no, no! It’s not that I don’t love you, I do.

You love me! Then come and lie down with me right here!

Right here? What about the baby?

There he goes! You see, the baby’s gone. Come to my arms!

Here, where everyone can see?

No one will see us if we go inside the cave of Pan, right here.

But what about my oath? You wouldn’t want me to break it, would you?

Don’t worry, I’ll take the blame.

Very well, I’ll get us a bed.

Don’t worry about that. I’m fine on the ground.

On the ground? No matter how awful you’ve been, I wouldn’t force you to do that. Stay here.

She truly loves me, I can tell.

Lie in bed, while I undress. Oh wait. You don’t have a mattress.

A mattress? Don’t worry about a mattress.

I wouldn’t want you to get sore.

Kiss me, please!

See you in a moment!

Come back quickly!

Here’s the mattress! Lie down, while I get naked. Oh no—

I forgot the pillow.

I don’t need a pillow.

Well, I do.

It’s like I’ve been taken to a feast, but nobody will allow me to eat!

Here you are, my dear, lift up your head. Now, what else do you need?

Nothing. Nothing else.

Let me just unfasten my girdle. I’ll be naked in no time.

Just remember, you promised me that you would stop the war.

Oh yes, I will, I will.

A blanket! You don’t have a blanket!

What do I need a blanket for? You can be my blanket.

Yes, of course dear, soon. Don’t worry, I'll be back in no time.

I’ll be dead by the time she’s finished perparing the bed.

Could you get up, please?

Take a look. I’m about as up as a man can be.

And now for some perfume!

No, thank you, please!

But I insist, whether you like it or not.

I hope she spills it.

Now hold out your hand; take some, and rub it all in.

This smell doesn’t put me much in the mood.

What was I thinking? I brought you a Rhodian perfume!

It’s fine, dear, it’s fine.

You don't mean that, I can tell.

I hate whoever it was who invented perfume!

Here, I think you like this scent better.

Smell my scent and you’ll like it best. Come here in bed with me, there’s nothing more we need.

Yes, of course I will, I’m just taking off my shoes. Now, you will vote for peace, my dear, won’t you?

Yes, sure, I’ll think about it.

Myrrhina? She’s tricked me and left me to die here in this wretched state. Oh, great tragedy! My cock has been left, abandoned and bereft. Poor boy, left alone, in such a cruel, cruel world. Who will help you? Where will you turn for just a moment’s kindness? I shall have to hire a nurse, to help you through this great trial.

Look at this man, this hero, left on the brink of total despair, brought to the point of collapse by great deceit and treachery!

Oh the pain, great Zeus, the pain!

She has wounded you and turned your balls bright blue, that evil, evil woman!

No! Don’t say that about her! She’s a good woman, a wonderful woman, my sweetest darling wife.

Your sweet darling? Never. Oh great Zeus, grant me just one simple wish. Call up a small storm, a tiny tornado, which will lift her from the ground and fly her away through the air.

Oh Zeus, just please let her land right here, on top of my cock.

Is Senate here? Me have much news for Senate.

Who are you, and why are you walking so funny?

Me important Spartan Herald, here for making peace!

Making peace? With that giant spear sticking out, under your robe?

No, no spear.

Then why is your robe sticking out so much? What’s wrong, why are you turning away? Has something become swollen during your journey? Do you need a massage?

Is crazy person!

Oh, I see, you’ve got an erection! You should be ashamed.

No, is…is something else. Now stop being so much foolishness.

Then…what is it?

Is…Spartan message stick.

Oh, a message stick. Well, read it for me, please. Come, just tell me what your message is. I know what you have under there. I’ve got a message stick of my own.

Is true. Is erection. Everyone in Sparta has one, and also all our allies. Is ready to explode!

Who caused all this? The God Pan?

No, is Lampito and also all the women. They make oath, no let men inside their warm and squishy place.

What have you been doing about it?

We very, very sad. We walk bent over, like men who hide a lantern from the wind. The women say no pussy till we say we no make war.

Oh, I see! It’s a plot, and every woman in Greece is involved. Go back to Sparta, and tell them to authorize you to negotiate a treaty. I’ll go to the Senate and do the same. It won’t be hard to persuade them. The evidence is right in front of every single one of us.

Is good idea! I go like flying bird!

There is no beast more shameless than a woman. Even fire is less savage.

You know this, and yet you choose to fight us, when we could be your friends instead.

I will never stop hating women!

Do whatever you like. But you look ridiculous, standing there without a tunic. Let me get you dressed, at least.

You’re right, I do look a little ridiculous. Thank you. I only took it off because I was so angry.

Now you look much better! If you weren’t being so hostile to me, I would take that bug out of your eye, too.

That’s what that is! I wondered what was hurting me so much. Here, use this ring to get it out.

By Zeus, it stings.

All right, though you should learn not to be so grumpy with me.

Look at this thing. It’s gigantic! It must be the king of all gnats.

Thank you so much. Oh that feels so much better, it’s making me cry.

I’ll dry your tears for you, even though you don’t deserve it. Now, give me a kiss.

A kiss? I don’t think I should.

You should.

Oh, well. You women always win out, in the end. It’s true, what they say. You can’t live with them, but you certainly can’t live without them.

Let’s make a treaty between ourselves, and promise to stop treating each other so poorly. Come, let’s finalize our treaty with a happy song!

Women come, come on men.
Come and be conjoined again.
Have a feast, have a ball.
We’d like to invite you all
We’ll have eels, and we’ll have wine.
If you want some gold that’s fine.
We’ll include you all, no doubt.
Unless you’re poor, then you’re locked out!

Look! Here comes the Spartan ambassador. Look at his

beard, it’s like a bird’s nest. Hello, Spartan, how are you doing?

Is not need for me to say, just for you to look.

I see! Your problem seems to keep getting larger and larger.

Is true. Is terrible! Must have peace now.

I needed to walk around hunched over all the time, too. It looked as if I’d pulled a muscle in my groin.

Where is Lysistrata? We need to find her right away!

Look at him, they’re like twins, at least on their bottom halves.

Did you wake up like that?

I woke up like this, I slept like this, I went to sleep like this. I’m going so crazy with lust, even you’re starting to look pretty to me.

You’d better be careful. If you keep walking around like that, someone may try to cut you short. Look at how many statues have had their penises chopped off.

It’s true, by Zeus.

Is true? Me need to hide mine, then.

Greetings, my fellow sufferer. What brings you here?

Me here for peace.

Good, so am I. We’d better call for Lysistrata, then.

You don’t need to call for her. That’s her, right there.

Hail, great leader!

Hail gentle woman.

Hail strict woman!

Eloquent but not verbose, uncompromising but willing to negotiate, exacting but forgiving.

Oh mighty lady, the men from throughout Greece have come to learn from you and have you lead them.

This will be easy. As long as they’re turned on, they’re not going to try to kill each other.

May I introduce you all to Peace!

Bring me the Spartan ambassador. But don’t be rough with him, as our husbands were with us. Bring him here gently, like a woman. If he won’t give you his hand, take whatever’s sticking out. Bring me the Athenian ambassador, too, the same way if necessary. Now listen to me, everyone. I may be just a woman, but I have common sense, brains, judgment, and good schooling. And I blame you both for what has been happening. We are of the same Greek blood. We worship at the same altars and share a common history. Yet all we’ve been done is kill each other, while the barbarians outside of Greece wait to attack us.

So you’re both in the wrong.

Oh, my penis hurts so much!

This next part, I am going to address to you, Spartans. Do you remember how you came to us and asked for aid after your earthquake, and how we sent an army of men to assist you in your time of crisis? And now, after we’ve helped you, you have turned on us, attacking those who were your allies.

That’s right, Lysistrata, they’re definitely at fault.

Yes, is wrong. Peace has nice ass.

And now I’m going to talk to you, Athenians. Do you remember how, when a tyrant had enslaved the whole of Athens, the Spartans came to our aid? In just one day, they rescued us and restored our democracy!

She does have a nice ass!

Yes, she beautiful!

With such a history of friendship, how can you fight each other so fiercely now? Why can’t you just make peace?

Yes, peace okay, just give us back the double rounded hills.

Which hills?

The ones behind our city.

No, by Poseidon, you can’t have that!

Oh let them have it.

Then what do we get?

Ask for something in return.

We want the mountains in front, and the great gulf below, and the wooded place around it. And also the connecting legs.

He want everything. Is too much!

Don’t squabble over details. Give him the legs.

Fine. Let’s just strip down then and get to work. Those fields need ploughing!

Me work on other side.

Yes, you’ll do all that, once the treaty has been signed.

You had better consult your allies, don’t you think?

Our allies? There’s no time for delay. I’m sure they’ll agree.

Yes, ours too, is certain.

We just want to start the fucking.

Wise words. Let’s go inside then, where we’ll prepare a feast. You can make your oaths and sign your treaties then. And afterwards, you can go home with your wives.

Come on, be quick.

Me come, real fast.

Yes, quickly.

Spartans come...Athenians too,
We have laid...a feast for you.
Full of wine, full of talk.
You’ll be so soused you’ll hardly walk.

Talk of women, talk of peace,
Talk of the glory of great Greece.
Talk of the Persians you defeated.
Tales of brilliance, oft repeated.

The Spartans helped, Athenians too.
Now say “I owe a debt too you.”
And that is true because, I think—
Hey, let’s have another drink!

That was a wonderful banquet. Those Spartans, they can be pretty clever, especially after they’ve downed a few. All negotiations should be held over drinks. People are stupid when they’re sober. They look for hidden meanings and get everything all wrong. But drunk—even if we made a mistake or two, who cares! We had fun!

Here’s our new friend!

Is good food! Is good drink! No more tricks or lies from us, now! Only good friends. Happy treaty, everyone! We sing happy songs together, and dance Spartan dance!

Come everybody, let’s all dance together!

© Edward Einhorn 2015