Read: Last of the Women’s Plays; the plot focuses on the protagonist Praxagora as she leads the women of Athens to disguise themselves as men and take over the Assembly. Like in Lysistrata, I will focus on the traits that allow this female protagonist’s plan to succeed. This text is important to my central analysis of women in Aristophanes and the greater genre of Old Comedy.
Read: First of Aristophanes’ Women’s Plays, performed in 411 BCE. Follows the plot of Athenian women––lead by Lysistrata––as the hold a sex strike against their husbands with the goal of ending the Peloponnesian War. Forms the basis for my analysis of gender within Aristophanes’ plays as I focus on the tactics Lysistrata employs in pursuit of peace. Her ability to manipulate masculine traits as well as the weaponization of femininity in the play are two main areas that interest me.
Read: Published shortly after Lysistrata, and is composed of a majority female cast of characters, Thesmo shares many themes with the other Women’s Plays. I plan on using it to bring traits of tragic women into the conversation of comedy.
Thucydides, “Pericles’ Funeral Oration.” The Peloponnesian War. 2.34-46.
Read: Cited for its line regarding the praise for silent women and their lack of reputation: “Great will be your glory in not falling short of your natural character; and greatest will be hers who is least talked of among the men, whether for good or for bad.”
Ancient Greek Theater
Brown, Peter G. M. “Comedy, Greek, New.” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Classics,
December 22, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780199381135.013.1742.
Read: Overview of New Comedy.
Dover, Kenneth. “Comedy, Greek, Old.” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Classics,
December 22, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780199381135.013.1740.
Read: Overview of Old Comedy.
Revermann, Martin. The Cambridge Companion to Greek Comedy. Cambridge University
Read: Background of Greek Comedy and its origins; extensive section on Comic authors (like Aristophanes) has been very useful in my research and writing so far.
Oxford Bibliographies. “Aristophanes.” Accessed October 24, 2022. https://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780195389661/obo-9780195389661-0005.xml?q=aristophanes.
Read: Has been helpful in providing other resources for background and analysis of Aristophanes’ works.
Bierl, Anton. “Chapter 1. The Comic Chorus in the Thesmophoriazusae of Aristophanes.” In Ritual and Performativity: The Chorus of Old Comedy, translated by Alexander Hollmann, 83–254. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2009.
To Read –– analysis of various entrances/scenes involving the Chorus in Thesmo.
Dobrov, Gregory. “Aristophanes.” In Brill’s Companion to The Study of Greek Comedy. Leiden, Netherlands: Hotei Publishing, 2010.
Read: Section on Aristophanes––biographical history and overview/analysis of a selection of his works.
Elderkin, G. W. “Aphrodite and Athena in the Lysistrata of Aristophanes.” Classical Philology 35, no. 4 (1940): 387–96.
Read: Provides context on the presence of divine figures within Lysistrata.
Faraone, Christopher A., and Laura K. McClure. Prostitutes and Courtesans in the Ancient World. Madison, UNITED STATES: University of Wisconsin Press, 2006. http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/haverford/detail.action?docID=3444746.
To Read – requested through interlibrary loan.
Campa, Naomi. “Kurios, Kuria and the Status of Athenian Women” Classical Journal,
February-March 2019. https://doi.org/10.1353/tcj.2018.0033.
Read: Brief history of women’s rights in Ancient Athens in the context of their relationship with their male overseers.
Graybill, Rhiannon Graybill, Giulia Sissa, Bradford A. Kirkegaard, Yii-Jan Lin, Tirzah Meacham, and Kathy L. Gaca. “Male-Female Sexuality.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Gender Studies. Oxford University Press, 2014. https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref:obso/9780199836994.001.0001/acref-9780199836994-e-23.
Read: Outline of sexuality across different periods of history; section on Ancient Greece provides context for gender hierarchies.
Lipka, Hilary, Harold C. Washington, Susan Deacy, Fiona McHardy, John W. Marshall, Marianne Blickenstaff, Mika Ahuvia, and Joy A. Schroeder. “Sexual Violence.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Gender Studies. Oxford University Press, 2014. https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref:obso/9780199836994.001.0001/acref-9780199836994-e-43.
Read: Article on the relationship between gender and sexual violence; includes section on the Ancient Greek world.
McClure, Laura. Spoken Like a Woman: Speech and Gender in Athenian Drama. Princeton
University Press, 1999.
Read: In depth analysis of gender within Greek theater with two main sections on Tragedy and Comedy. McClure uses Greek texts to provide context for her argument and seeks to close the gap between women’s actual experience and their portrayal in literature. Central to my research surrounding women in comedy.
O’Higgins, Laurie. Women and Humor in Classical Greece. Cambridge, UK ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
To Read – requested through interlibrary loan.
Pomeroy, Sarah B. Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity. Schocken Books, c1995. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb01483.0001.001.
Some Read: Exploration of the portrayal of women in Ancient literature; discussion of the status of women in Greek society and their experience.
Zelenak, Michael. Gender and Politics in Greek Tragedy. Vol. 7. Artists and Issues in the Theater. New York, New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 1998.
Some Read: Chapters 1 & 2. Overview of tragic women across various texts; emphasis on gender roles in Ancient Greece and their influence.
Gender in Aristophanes
Sells, Donald. “The Feminine Mistake: Household Economy in Aristophanes’ Thesmophoriazusae.” In Parody, Politics, And The Populace In Greek Old Comedy, 181–208. Great Britain: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2019.
Read: Comments on Aristophanes’ reception of Euripidean Tragic women and the impact on the portrayal of female characters in Thesmo.
Taaffe, Lauren. Aristophanes and Women. Routledge, 1993.
Read: In depth analysis of women in Aristophanes’ plays. Taaffe has been useful so far in helping to bring in specific aspects of the Ancient Greek gender binary in the context of Comedy as a whole.