Scene 4

(LYSISTRATA rushes out of the Acropolis.)

LYSISTRATA: Look over there, women, look over there!

CHORUS (WOMEN): What’s the matter? What’s wrong?

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

CALONICE: Where is this man?

LYSISTRATA: Up there, by the Temple of Demeter.

CALONICE: Yes, I see him. But who is he?

CHORUS (WOMEN): Does anyone know who he is?

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

LYSISTRATA: 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.

MYRRHINA: Trust me, I will

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

(CINESIAS enters, fully erect. A SERVANT follows him, carrying a wad of clothing that he is pretending is a baby.)

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

LYSISTRATA: Who is this who tries to pass through our defenses?


LYSISTRATA: What, a man?

CINESIAS: Most definitely.


CINESIAS: Who are you to tell me to leave?

LYSISTRATA: I’m today’s guard.

CINESIAS: Then please, tell Myrrhina to come out.

LYSISTRATA: Who are you?

CINESIAS: I am her husband, Cinesias.

LYSISTRATA: 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!”

CINESIAS: The gods be praised!

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

CINESIAS: Oh please, call her!

LYSISTRATA: And what will you give me, if I do?

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

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

(She enters the Acropolis.)

CINESIAS: 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.

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

CINESIAS: What are you saying Myrrhina, my sweet, my darling? Come down to me, please come down!

MYRRHINA: No, I won’t. Not to you!

CINESIAS: What, you won’t come when I call?

MYRRHINA: Why should I? You don’t want me.

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

MYRRHINA: Good-bye.

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

SERVANT: Mamma! Mamma! Mamma!

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

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

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

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

(MYRRHINA comes out of the Acropolis.)

CINESIAS: 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.

MYRRHINA: 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.

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

MYRRHINA: Don’t touch me!

CINESIAS: Everything at home is a total mess!

MYRRHINA: I don’t care.

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

MYRRHINA: Not so much.

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

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

CINESIAS: All right, fine, we’ll end the war.

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

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

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

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

MYRRHINA: Right here? What about the baby?

(CINESIAS grabs the “baby” out from the SERVANT’S hands and tosses it away.)

SERVANT: Waaaaaa!

(The SERVANT chases after the “baby,” grabs it up, and exits.)

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

MYRRHINA: Here, where everyone can see?

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

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

CINESIAS: Don’t worry, I’ll take the blame.

MYRRHINA: Very well, I’ll get us a bed.

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

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

(MYRRHINA goes inside the Acropolis and gets a bed.)

CINESIAS: She truly loves me, I can tell.

(She returns.)

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

CINESIAS: A mattress? Don’t worry about a mattress.

MYRRHINA: I wouldn’t want you to get sore.

CINESIAS: Kiss me, please!

(She gives him a quick peck.)

MYRRHINA: See you in a moment!

(MYRRHINA goes inside the Acropolis.)

CINESIAS: Come back quickly!

(She returns with the mattress.)

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

CINESIAS: I don’t need a pillow.

MYRRHINA: Well, I do.

(MYRRHINA goes inside the Acropolis.)

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

(She returns with the pillow.)

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

CINESIAS: Nothing. Nothing else.

MYRRHINA: Let me just unfasten my girdle. I’ll be naked in no time. Just remember, you promised me that you would stop the war.

CINESIAS: Oh yes, I will, I will.

MYRRHINA: A blanket! You don’t have a blanket!

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

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

(MYRRHINA goes inside the Acropolis.)

CINESIAS: I’ll be dead by the time she’s finished preparing the bed.

(She returns with the blanket.)

MYRRHINA: Could you get up, please?

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

MYRRHINA: And now for some perfume!

CINESIAS: No, thank you, please!

MYRRHINA: But I insist, whether you like it or not.

(MYRRHINA goes inside the Acropolis.)

CINESIAS: I hope she spills it.

(She returns with the perfume.)

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

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

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

CINESIAS: It’s fine, dear, it’s fine.

MYRRHINA: You don't mean that, I can tell.

(MYRRHINA goes inside the Acropolis.)

CINESIAS: I hate whoever it was who invented perfume!

(She returns with the new perfume.)

MYRRHINA: Here, I think you like this scent better.

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

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

CINESIAS: Yes, sure, I’ll think about it.

(MYRRHINA runs back into the Acropolis.)

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.

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

CINESIAS: Oh the pain, great Zeus, the pain!

CHORUS (MEN): She has wounded you and turned your balls bright blue, that evil, evil woman!

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

(The LEADER of the men throws off his tunic, in anger.)

LEADER (MEN): 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.

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

(A Spartan HERALD enters, fully erect. CINESIAS turns his back, to hide his own erection.)

HERALD: Is Senate here? Me have much news for Senate.

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

HERALD: Me important Spartan Herald, here for making peace!

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

HERALD: No, no spear.

CINESIAS: 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?

HERALD: Is crazy person!

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

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

CINESIAS: Then…what is it?

HERALD: Is…Spartan message stick.

CINESIAS: 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.

(CINESIAS turns and shows the HERALD.)

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

CINESIAS: Who caused all this? The God Pan?

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

CINESIAS: What have you been doing about it?

HERALD: 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.

CINESIAS: 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.

HERALD: Is good idea! I go like flying bird!

© Edward Einhorn 2015