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Lysistrata | Part Summaries

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Timeline of Events

  • Early morning, 411 BCE

    Lysistrata enlists women from all over Greece to deny their husbands sex until they end the war.

    Prologos
  • At the same time

    The old women of Athens, on Lysistrata's orders, take over the Acropolis and its war chest.

    Prologos
  • Later that morning

    The Chorus of Old Men try to take back the Acropolis, but the Chorus of Old Women stops them.

    Parodos
  • A little later

    Magistrate comes to withdraw funds from the war chest, debates Lysistrata, and leaves defeated.

    Agon
  • Immediately after

    Chorus of Old Men strip themselves naked in ferocious confrontation with Old Women, who do the same.

    Parabasis
  • Five days later

    Lysistrata scolds weak-willed women who try to break the sex strike and persuades them to hang on.

    Episode 1
  • A little later

    Cinesias tries to sleep with his wife, Myrrhine; she leaves him unsatisfied.

    Episode 2
  • Immediately after

    After running into a Spartan Herald sent to arrange peace talks, Cinesias agrees to do his part.

    Episode 2
  • A little later

    The Chorus of Old Men reconcile with the Chorus of Old Women, who help them dress.

    Stasimon 2
  • Days later

    Lysistrata engages Athens and Sparta in peace talks and rewards their success with a feast.

    Episode 3
  • After the feast

    The Athenian and Spartan delegates sing and dance with their wives in the gods' honor.

    Exodos

Part Summaries Chart

Part Summary
Prologos The prologos, or prologue, introduces the play's setting and themes. Lysistrata appears on the streets of Athens, below ... Read More
Parodos In Greek drama, the chorus normally appears first in the parodos. In Lysistrata, only half the chorus appears initially:... Read More
Agon The Magistrate, a city official, arrives with four public guards. He complains about the "lewdness" of women, illustrati... Read More
Parabasis In this ode, the Leader of the Men's Chorus proposes that "for action on this issue"—the women occupying the Acropolis—t... Read More
Episode 1 Five days have passed. Lysistrata comes out of the citadel in an angry state. She complains to the Chorus of Old Women t... Read More
Stasimon 1 The two choruses, who have remained naked onstage throughout the last episode, now begin to sing, taunting each other wi... Read More
Episode 2 Cinesias, Myrrhine's husband, is spotted approaching the citadel. Lysistrata instructs Myrrhine to tempt her husband in ... Read More
Stasimon 2 The Leader of the Men's Chorus declares women are harder to control than wild animals and fire. The Leader of the Women'... Read More
Episode 3 The Spartan and Athenian ambassadors arrive; they have huge erections and are ready to make peace. The Leader of the Cho... Read More
Stasimon 3 The chorus, now a unified group of old men and women, sing a song inviting the audience into their homes, where they are... Read More
Exodos The Athenian ambassadors bang on the inside of the citadel doors to be let out; slaves onstage are apparently blocking t... Read More
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