Thursday, April 21, 2005

I just downloaded the song from the HP picture commercial, I have over half my paper written, my exam and presentation are done, my toenails are teal (to match my new shirt) and my fingernails are purple and sparkly. I am feeling pretty good considering I have only slept about 10 good hours in the last 2 days.

Does anyone else think it is crazy that the new pope is 78? Do they not want him around very long? If they don't want him around long, why did they elect him in the first place?

If you are bored, here's my paper so far. Remember that it is just a rought draft and incomplete. It's also probably really boring, but I did get to use "sex" and "phallus" so it can't be all that bad.

Women Against War

Euripides in The Trojan Women and Aristophanes in Lysistrata explore the consequences of war. The focus of each play is the affect war has on the women and how they respond to a demanding situation. However, the women are characterized in entirely opposite ways. Even with the same topic and group of focus, Euripides and Aristophanes take their respective plays in entirely different directions yet have the same conclusions about the ramifications of war.

At the time these plays were written, Athens and Sparta were about 20 years into the Peloponnesian War. When The Trojan Women was written, Greece had just captured Troy. It makes sense that these two playwrights would choose the backdrop of war for their plays. Even with the war in the background the portrayal of the women is really the core of these two plays.

Euripides uses tragedy to give the audience an idea of what the women of Troy had to deal with after the capture of Troy. Pretty much everything bad that could happen to these women happened to them. Their husbands were killed and left without proper burials, their children were taken from them, and they were assigned to Greek men as concubines and slaves and some were even killed. These women are powerless to defend themselves against the brutality of the men.

Hecuba has lost almost all the people important to her as well as her city and home, Troy. Her husband and children are dead and her daughter-in-law, Andromache, is enslaved and her grandson is thrown off the walls of Troy. One of her daughters, Polyxena, is killed on the tomb of Achilles and her other daughter, Cassandra, is chosen by Agamemnon to be his concubine. Andromache, widow of Hecuba’s son Hector, is another woman focused on in The Trojan Women. She is grieving the death of her husband and fearful of the fate of herself and her infant son, Astyanax, that is until he is thrown off the walls of Troy and she isn’t allowed to openly grieve his death. The horrible things these two women face encompass what has happened to all the women of Troy. Their lives and futures are rife with tragedy.

On the comedic side of things, we have the women as portrayed by Aristophanes in Lysistrata. The title character, Lysistrata, called together the women of Athens as well as Spartan women with an idea she thought could put an end the war. They have taken over the Parthenon and are striking against copulating with their husbands. These women have obtained power through cooperation and their husbands’ sexual appetite. Now these women have some power.

These women are suffering as well, mind you. Their home lives have been disrupted because their husbands aren’t around, but they are not helpless. These women have banded together to get what they want. They have a strength that the women in The Trojan Women do not possess: strength in numbers. It was very unusual for women to have this kind of power handed to them by men at this time in Greek society. This play is an example of the role reversal of men and women in ancient times.
The Athenian and Spartan women are waging their own war against the Peloponnesian War. Waging war is generally the masculine thing to do. As with the actual war going on, this war against war is a power struggle, but instead of being between two cities it is between two sexes. It seems less war-like because it is centered on sex and there are men walking around with erect phalluses much of the time.


Sunshine said...

I found that very interesting, thank you for sharing your thoughts so articulately.

Chelsea said...

Thank you for the comment!

Did you really enjoy it? I have finished it now and it is a lot better. If you want to read the finished version let me know.

Sunshine said...

I did enjoy it, please post the edited version. It opens a bit abruptly, but that doesn't hurt.

When the late pope died I was in Poland, where he was from. I was in a very poor area in the north-west of the country teaching photojournalism. The reactions of the people were amazing. There were men crying, hitting their chests, women screaming tearing their clothes. Until then I had no idea he meant so much to them. 97% of the country is catholic.

Do you know where the new pope is from?