Lysistrata - Aristophanes - darmowy ebook
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First presented in 411 B.C., this ancient comedy concerns the efforts of Lysistrata, an Athenian woman, to persuade other woman to join together in a strike against the men of Greece, denying them sex until they've agreed to put down their arms and end the disastrous wars between Athens and Sparta.When the strike begins, and the men respond, the comedic battle of the sexes that ensues makes this spirited play one of the most enjoyable of the classics. In it, Aristophanes employs a mixture of shrewd logic and raffish humor that fully exploits the rich comic potential of the story and its underlying antiwar sentiment. Always a favorite of audiences, Lysistrata, because of its pointed feminist sympathies, is studied and performed today more than ever.

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Aristophanes

Lysistrata

First digital edition 2017 by Anna Ruggieri

LYSISTRATA

LYSISTRATA stands alone with the Propylaea at her back.

LYSISTRATA

If they were trysting for a Bacchanal, A feast of Pan or Colias or Genetyllis, The tambourines would block the rowdy streets, But now there's not a woman to be seen Except--ah, yes--this neighbour of mine yonder.

Enter CALONICE.

Good day Calonice.

CALONICE

Good day Lysistrata. But what has vexed you so? Tell me, child. What are these black looks for? It doesn't suit you To knit your eyebrows up glumly like that.

LYSISTRATA

Calonice, it's more than I can bear, I am hot all over with blushes for our sex. Men say we're slippery rogues--

CALONICE

And aren't they right?

LYSISTRATA

Yet summoned on the most tremendous business For deliberation, still they snuggle in bed.

CALONICE

My dear, they'll come. It's hard for women, you know, To get away. There's so much to do; Husbands to be patted and put in good tempers: Servants to be poked out: children washed Or soothed with lullays or fed with mouthfuls of pap.

LYSISTRATA

But I tell you, here's a far more weighty object.

CALONICE

What is it all about, dear Lysistrata, That you've called the women hither in a troop? What kind of an object is it?

LYSISTRATA

A tremendous thing!

CALONICE

And long?

LYSISTRATA

Indeed, it may be very lengthy.

CALONICE

Then why aren't they here?

LYSISTRATA

No man's connected with it; If that was the case, they'd soon come fluttering along. No, no. It concerns an object I've felt over And turned this way and that for sleepless nights.

CALONICE

It must be fine to stand such long attention.

LYSISTRATA

So fine it comes to this--Greece saved by Woman!

CALONICE

By Woman? Wretched thing, I'm sorry for it.

LYSISTRATA

Our country's fate is henceforth in our hands: To destroy the Peloponnesians root and branch--

CALONICE

What could be nobler!

LYSISTRATA

Wipe out the Boeotians--

CALONICE

Not utterly. Have mercy on the eels! [Footnote: The Boeotian eels were highly esteemed delicacies in Athens.]

LYSISTRATA

But with regard to Athens, note I'm careful Not to say any of these nasty things; Still, thought is free.... But if the women join us From Peloponnesus and Boeotia, then Hand in hand we'll rescue Greece.

CALONICE

How could we do Such a big wise deed? We women who dwell Quietly adorning ourselves in a back-room With gowns of lucid gold and gawdy toilets Of stately silk and dainty little slippers....

LYSISTRATA

These are the very armaments of the rescue. These crocus-gowns, this outlay of the best myrrh, Slippers, cosmetics dusting beauty, and robes With rippling creases of light.

CALONICE

Yes, but how?

LYSISTRATA

No man will lift a lance against another--

CALONICE

I'll run to have my tunic dyed crocus.

LYSISTRATA

Or take a shield--

CALONICE

I'll get a stately gown.

LYSISTRATA

Or unscabbard a sword--

CALONICE

Let me buy a pair of slipper.

LYSISTRATA

Now, tell me, are the women right to lag?

CALONICE

They should have turned birds, they should have grown wings and flown.

LYSISTRATA

My friend, you'll see that they are true Athenians: Always too late. Why, there's not a woman From the shoreward demes arrived, not one from Salamis.

CALONICE

I know for certain they awoke at dawn, And got their husbands up if not their boat sails.

LYSISTRATA

And I'd have staked my life the Acharnian dames Would be here first, yet they haven't come either!

CALONICE

Well anyhow there is Theagenes' wife We can expect--she consulted Hecate. But look, here are some at last, and more behind them. See ... where are they from?

CALONICE

From Anagyra they come.

LYSISTRATA

Yes, they generally manage to come first.

Enter MYRRHINE.

MYRRHINE

Are we late, Lysistrata? ... What is that? Nothing to say?

LYSISTRATA

I've not much to say for you, Myrrhine, dawdling on so vast an affair.

MYRRHINE

I couldn't find my girdle in the dark. But if the affair's so wonderful, tell us, what is it?

LYSISTRATA

No, let us stay a little longer till The Peloponnesian girls and the girls of Bocotia Are here to listen.

MYRRHINE

That's the best advice. Ah, there comes Lampito.

Enter LAMPITO.

LYSISTRATA

Welcome Lampito! Dear Spartan girl with a delightful face, Washed with the rosy spring, how fresh you look In the easy stride of your sleek slenderness, Why you could strangle a bull!

LAMPITO

I think I could. It's frae exercise and kicking high behint.

[Footnote: The translator has put the speech of the Spartan characters in Scotch dialect which is related to English about as was the Spartan dialect to the speech of Athens. The Spartans, in their character, anticipated the shrewd, canny, uncouth Scotch highlander of modern times.]

LYSISTRATA

What lovely breasts to own!

LAMPITO

Oo ... your fingers Assess them, ye tickler, wi' such tender chucks I feel as if I were an altar-victim.

LYSISTRATA

Who is this youngster?

LAMPITO

A Boeotian lady.

LYSISTRATA

There never was much undergrowth in Boeotia, Such a smooth place, and this girl takes after it.

CALONICE

Yes, I never saw a skin so primly kept.

LYSISTRATA

This girl?

LAMPITO

A sonsie open-looking jinker! She's a Corinthian.

LYSISTRATA

Yes, isn't she Very open, in some ways particularly.

LAMPITO

But who's garred this Council o' Women to meet here?

LYSISTRATA

I have.

LAMPITO

Propound then what you want o' us.

MYRRHINE

What is the amazing news you have to tell?

LYSISTRATA

I'll tell you, but first answer one small question.

MYRRHINE

As you like.

LYSISTRATA

Are you not sad your children's fathers Go endlessly off soldiering afar In this plodding war? I am willing to wager There's not one here whose husband is at home.

CALONICE

Mine's been in Thrace, keeping an eye on Eucrates For five months past.

MYRRHINE

And mine left me for Pylos Seven months ago at least.

LAMPITO

And as for mine No sooner has he slipped out frae the line He straps his shield and he's snickt off again.

LYSISTRATA

And not the slightest glitter of a lover! And since the Milesians betrayed us, I've not seen The image of a single upright man To be a marble consolation to us. Now will you help me, if I find a means To stamp the war out.

MYRRHINE

By the two Goddesses, Yes! I will though I've to pawn this very dress And drink the barter-money the same day.

CALONICE

And I too though I'm split up like a turbot And half is hackt off as the price of peace.

LAMPITO

And I too! Why, to get a peep at the shy thing I'd clamber up to the tip-top o' Taygetus.

LYSISTRATA

Then I'll expose my mighty mystery. O women, if we would compel the men To bow to Peace, we must refrain--

MYRRHINE

From what? O tell us!

LYSISTRATA

Will you truly do it then?

MYRRHINE

We will, we will, if we must die for it.

LYSISTRATA

We must refrain from every depth of love.... Why do you turn your backs? Where are you going? Why do you bite your lips and shake your heads? Why are your faces blanched? Why do you weep? Will you or won't you, or what do you mean?

MYRRHINE

No, I won't do it. Let the war proceed.

CALONICE

No, I won't do it. Let the war proceed.

LYSISTRATA

You too, dear turbot, you that said just now You didn't mind being split right up in the least?