Study Guide

Lysistrata Tough-o-Meter

By Aristophanes

Tough-o-Meter

(2) Sea Level

Alright, so this play takes place in Ancient Greece, which means you may have to learn a little bit of history, and you may not catch all the references to Ancient Greek politics. But, hey, that's what Shmoop is here for.

But you know what references you will catch? All the approximately five bajillion-trillion euphemisms for erections, sex, body parts, and sweaty Kama Sutra positions. This play is filthy. It pretty much proves that sex was as hilarious to the Ancient Greeks as it is today. If raunchy sexcapades can't get you through a work of literature, we don't know what can.

The biggest piece of advice we at Shmoop can offer to make your reading experience a pleasurable one is: find a good translation. We're using the version by Jeffrey Henderson, from the Loeb Classical Library, which has some snicker-out-loud-caliber sexual innuendo—but there are plenty of translations to choose from. In order to find the right one for you, just follow this simple rule: read a few pages. If you're not laughing/blushing/smirking/snorting after three or four lines of dialogue, it's not the translation for you.