What techniques does Aristophanes use in Lysistrata to make us laugh?

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Aristophanes's Lysistrata is widely considered to be his most popular work thanks to its bawdy comedy and clever exchanges, all focused on the battle of the sexes. Modern audiences may find certain elements of the comedy more humorous than others, and these elements may be different to the ones...

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Aristophanes's Lysistrata is widely considered to be his most popular work thanks to its bawdy comedy and clever exchanges, all focused on the battle of the sexes. Modern audiences may find certain elements of the comedy more humorous than others, and these elements may be different to the ones that inspired the Greek audiences who first attended productions of Lysistrata to laughter.

For example, one very funny element that would have amused Greek audiences is the fact that the women in the play felt in the first place that they could actively influence the men in their lives by withholding sex. This overarching principle is perhaps the biggest joke of all, as women in this day and age had very little power at all. As well, the tradition of staging Lysistrata, whether back then or now, involves only male actors. The audience's experience of dramatic irony, hearing women speak of their men in sexual terms while knowing men were playing the wives, could also inspire laughter. Finally, the play is full of sexual innuendo and double-entendres. These subtle jokes are often pleasing to an audience mature enough to appreciate such humor.

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