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Lysistrata | Exodos | Summary

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Summary

The Athenian ambassadors bang on the inside of the citadel doors to be let out; slaves onstage are apparently blocking the way, and the ambassadors threaten them. They pour out, quite tipsy, with the Spartan ambassadors on their heels. All agree they should stay drunk to avoid fighting. The Spartan ambassadors begin to dance and sing a prayer to Artemis, asking her to bless their treaty. Lysistrata leads the women out of the citadel and tells the Spartans and the Athenian ambassadors to take their wives home. The combined chorus sings a song of praise to all the gods; then Lysistrata asks the Spartan ambassador to sing another song. He obliges by singing in praise of Sparta and of Athena.

Analysis

Peace between Athens and Sparta has been restored, evident from the delegates who unite in their abuse of the slaves blocking their exit from the Acropolis. The delegates' praise of drunkenness is a nod to the god of wine Dionysus, a fitting end for a play held in his honor (as all Greek drama was). Though the songs sung by the Athenian chorus and the Spartan ambassador praise all the Greek gods, it's Dionysus who really carries the day, as he did from the moment that Lysistrata and her cohort made their vow on a bowl of wine. He represents not only wine but also sexuality, the drive Lysistrata harnessed so successfully to bring about Panhellenic peace.

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