Event Title

What's the Deal with Women: Aristophanes' Nebulous Feminism

Mentor 1

Dr. Tyson Hausdoerffer

Location

Union 183

Start Date

24-4-2015 1:20 PM

Description

Gender reversal in Aristophanes’ plays of 411 BCE (Women at the Thesmophoria Festival (Thesmophoriazusae) and Lysistrata) plays a significant role in understanding the extent to which Aristophanes was or was not in support of female social mobility. While at first it appears as though Aristophanes is in favour of improving the power and flexibility of women outside of the domestic sphere, there are critics of this claim who suggest that Aristophanes really wasn’t supporting women’s rights. Others, such as Martha Nussbaum, suggest that the very nature of comedy is feminine and that Aristophanes is promoting a feminine approach to an intensely masculine political trend that dominated 5th C. Athenian politics. Returning to the text of Aristophanes’ preference for returning to a ‘golden-age’ (as suggested in many of his plays, including Peace) which would have placed women in a domestic role, women in Aristophanes’ plays (specifically Lysistrata and Thesmophoriazusae), regardless of their actions or roles, serve as more of a tool, than the subject of focus. Further analyses of Aristophanes’ plays and academic literature regarding Aristophanes, his comedy, and women in his comedy will continue to reveal more about Aristophanes the playwright, Greek comic theatre, and, on a broader level, Greek society in 5th Century Athens.plays, as well as synthesizing and examining current academic analyses, this project evaluates the extent to which Aristophanes’ personal opinion of gender roles influenced his plays of 411 BCE. This project’s analysis has revealed that Aristophanes did not appear to take any particular interest in the roles of women in Greek society, and that while he may harbor a personal preference for or against increase female social mobility in Greek society, women in his plays serve more as plot devices for political commentary than as representatives of proposed gender shifts.

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Apr 24th, 1:20 PM

What's the Deal with Women: Aristophanes' Nebulous Feminism

Union 183

Gender reversal in Aristophanes’ plays of 411 BCE (Women at the Thesmophoria Festival (Thesmophoriazusae) and Lysistrata) plays a significant role in understanding the extent to which Aristophanes was or was not in support of female social mobility. While at first it appears as though Aristophanes is in favour of improving the power and flexibility of women outside of the domestic sphere, there are critics of this claim who suggest that Aristophanes really wasn’t supporting women’s rights. Others, such as Martha Nussbaum, suggest that the very nature of comedy is feminine and that Aristophanes is promoting a feminine approach to an intensely masculine political trend that dominated 5th C. Athenian politics. Returning to the text of Aristophanes’ preference for returning to a ‘golden-age’ (as suggested in many of his plays, including Peace) which would have placed women in a domestic role, women in Aristophanes’ plays (specifically Lysistrata and Thesmophoriazusae), regardless of their actions or roles, serve as more of a tool, than the subject of focus. Further analyses of Aristophanes’ plays and academic literature regarding Aristophanes, his comedy, and women in his comedy will continue to reveal more about Aristophanes the playwright, Greek comic theatre, and, on a broader level, Greek society in 5th Century Athens.plays, as well as synthesizing and examining current academic analyses, this project evaluates the extent to which Aristophanes’ personal opinion of gender roles influenced his plays of 411 BCE. This project’s analysis has revealed that Aristophanes did not appear to take any particular interest in the roles of women in Greek society, and that while he may harbor a personal preference for or against increase female social mobility in Greek society, women in his plays serve more as plot devices for political commentary than as representatives of proposed gender shifts.