Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

Communication, Media and Theatre Arts

Committee Member

Lee Stille, Ph.D.


Aristophanes’ Lysistrata is a popular work for contemporary production. Written in 411 BCE, the work explores what happens when the females of Athens participate in a sex strike in order to coerce the males to end the Peloponnesian War. By exploring cultural references to symbols in Lysistrata, mainly the phallus, this article seeks to convey the vehemence with which Aristophanes was advocating for an end of the Peloponnesian war and to demonstrate to theatre practitioners that Lysistrata is unique in its rhetoric about war and its destructive force on society. By understanding these significant cultural references, a modern director can help an audience better understand the specific themes of the work.