Examine how Aristophanes shows mens' weakness in Lysistrata. 

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The original question had to be edited down.  I think that Aristophanes shows men to be of weak spirit in a couple of ways.  The first is that the men are surprised to see the women rise up against them.  The mens' power and sense of control was illusory because it only existed when the women were submissive.  As soon as Lysistrata inspires them to take over and to take up solidarity against the men, the men crumble.  It is the women who showcase their strength and confound the men who are unable to deal with this uprising.  The magistrate who was supposed to represent the conventional notion of institutional strength is someone who cannot contain the women's movement and is exposed to be weak in the face of such broad forces of social change.  Lysistrata's fundamental premise is that if sex and affection is withheld from men, they will crumble.  Certainly, this becomes the case.  The Oracle predicts it so, and it becomes evident.  Myrrhine's teasing of her husband, Cinesias, is one example of this.  He is shown to be quite feeble when being denied and when she is in the position of power over him.  On one hand, Lysistrata's plan's flaw is that it reduces men to one dimensional in terms of their relationship to sex.  Yet, the plan ends up being validated as the men succumb to drink and their own sensual desires become the sole defining element in their lives as they capitulate to the women.  It is here in which the weaknesses of the men are exposed in Aristophanes' comedy.

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