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Unread 12-09-2018, 08:34 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Default Lysistrata Speaks

Aristophanes’ Lysistrata 507-531

Blessed with self-control, we women have endured in silence,
throughout this long, long war, whatever you men did because
you never let us speak. Believe me: you weren’t all we dreamed of—
yes, we took good stock of you. Quite frequently at home
we heard you speaking of some fool political decision
you’d lately made. Then, full of agony but still all smiles,
we’d ask: “what was resolved about the rider to the peace
today in the Assembly?” Well, my husband always answered
“What’s it to you?” and “woman, shut your mouth.” And I shut up. . .

First Old Woman:
Not me: I never would have shut my mouth.

The Commish: (to the First Old Woman)
Not me: I never would have shut my mouth. Well, if you hadn’t,
you’d have gotten smacked.

you’d have gotten smacked. . . . I shut up, and I stayed at home.
And soon enough we heard about some even more atrocious
legislation you had passed. And I would say, “Oh husband,
why have you gone and voted in so very bad a law?”
Frowningly he would snap back: “Mind your knitting, now, or else
I’ll knock your head around, some. War is an affair for men.”

The Commish:
Yeah, by the gods, your husband schooled you good!

Yeah, by the gods, your husband schooled you good! What’s “good,” moron,
about not giving good advice to people who are making
awful decisions? When we heard you men all over town
lamenting, “Isn’t there a man left anywhere in Athens?”
and others crying, “No men left,” we women met in council,
and we resolved to raise a coup and rescue Greece ourselves.
Why should we waste more time? If you are ready now to shut up--
just like you said “shut up” to us--and heed our good advice,
we’ll tell you how to set the city straight.

The Commish:
we’ll tell you how to set the city straight. You? You tell us?
An outrage! It’s impossible!

An outrage! It’s impossible! Shut up.

The Commish:

An outrage! It’s impossible! Shut up. “Shut up” for you,
a nasty creature with a veil on? Never, on my life!

. . . . .


Here's a link tot he Greek text: 6

ἡμεῖς τὸν μὲν πρότερον πόλεμον † καὶ τὸν χρόνον ἠνεσχόμεθα †
ὑπὸ σωφροσύνης τῆς ἡμετέρας τῶν ἀνδρῶν ἅττ᾽ ἐποιεῖτε.
οὐ γὰρ γρύζειν εἰᾶθ᾽ ἡμᾶς. καίτοὐκ ἠρέσκετέ γ᾽ ἡμᾶς.
510ἀλλ᾽ ᾐσθανόμεσθα καλῶς ὑμῶν, καὶ πολλάκις ἔνδον ἂν οὖσαι
ἠκούσαμεν ἄν τι κακῶς ὑμᾶς βουλευσαμένους μέγα πρᾶγμα:
εἶτ᾽ ἀλγοῦσαι τἄνδοθεν ὑμᾶς ἐπανηρόμεθ᾽ ἂν γελάσασαι,
‘τί βεβούλευται περὶ τῶν σπονδῶν ἐν τῇ στήλῃ παραγράψαι
ἐν τῷ δήμῳ τήμερονὑμῖν;’ ‘τίδὲ σοὶ ταῦτ᾽;’ ἦ δ᾽ ὃς ἂν ἁνήρ.
515‘οὐ σιγήσει;’ κἀγὼ ἐσίγων.

Γυνὴ Β.
ἀλλ᾽ οὐκ ἂν ἐγώ ποτ᾽ ἐσίγων.

κἂν ᾤμωζές γ᾽, εἰ μὴ 'σίγας.

τοιγὰρ ἔγωγ᾽ ἔνδον ἐσίγων.
... ἔτερόν τι πονηρότερον βούλευμ᾽ ἐπεπύσμεθ᾽ ἂν ὑμῶν:
εἶτ᾽ ἠρόμεθ᾽ ἄν: ‘πῶς ταῦτ᾽ ὦνερ διαπράττεσθ᾽ ὧδ᾽ ἀνοήτως;’
ὁ δέ μ᾽ εὐθὺς ὑποβλέψας ἂν ἔφασκ᾽, εἰ μὴ τὸν στήμονα νήσω,
520ὀτοτύξεσθαι μακρὰ τὴν κεφαλήν: ‘πόλεμος δ᾽ ἄνδρεσσι μελήσει.’

ὀρθῶς γε λέγων νὴ Δί᾽ ἐκεῖνος.

πῶς ὀρθῶς ὦ κακόδαιμον,
εἰ μηδὲ κακῶς βουλευομένοις ἐξῆν ὑμῖν ὑποθέσθαι;
ὅτε δὴ δ᾽ ὑμῶν ἐν ταῖσιν ὁδοῖς φανερῶς ἠκούομεν ἤδη,
‘οὐκ ἔστιν ἀνὴρ ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ;’ ‘μὰ Δί᾽ οὐ δῆτ᾽,’ εἶφ᾽ ἕτερός τις:
525μετὰ ταῦθ᾽ ἡμῖν εὐθὺς ἔδοξεν σῶσαι τὴν Ἑλλάδα κοινῇ
ταῖσι γυναιξὶν συλλεχθείσαις. ποῖ γὰρ καὶ χρῆν ἀναμεῖναι;
ἢν οὖν ἡμῶν χρηστὰ λεγουσῶν ἐθελήσητ᾽ ἀντακροᾶσθαι
κἀντισιωπᾶθ᾽ ὥσπερ χἠμεῖς, ἐπανορθώσαιμεν ἂν ὑμᾶς.

ὑμεῖς ἡμᾶς; δεινόν γε λέγεις κοὐ τλητὸν ἔμοιγε.


530σοί γ᾽ ὦ κατάρατε σιωπῶ 'γώ, καὶ ταῦτα κάλυμμα φορούσῃ
περὶ τὴν κεφαλήν; μή νυν ζῴην.

. . . . .

Translation from Perseus ( 6), by Jack Lindsay

All the long years when the hopeless war dragged along we, unassuming,
forgotten in quiet,
Endured without question, endured in our loneliness all your incessant
child's antics and riot.
Our lips we kept tied, though aching with silence, though well all the
while in our silence we knew
How wretchedly everything still was progressing by listening dumbly the
day long to you.
For always at home you continued discussing the war and its politics
loudly, and we
Sometimes would ask you, our hearts deep with sorrowing though we spoke
lightly, though happy to see,
“What's to be inscribed on the side of the Treaty-stone
What, dear, was said in the Assembly today?”
“Mind your own business,” he'd answer me growlingly
“hold your tongue, woman, or else go away.”
And so I would hold it.

I'd not be silent for any man living on earth, no, not I!

Not for a staff?

Well, so I did nothing but sit in the house, feeling dreary, and sigh,
While ever arrived some fresh tale of decisions more foolish by far and
presaging disaster.
Then I would say to him, “O my dear husband, why still do they rush on
destructlon the faster?”
At which he would look at me sideways, exclaiming, “Keep for your web
and your shuttle your care,
Or for some hours hence your cheeks will be sore and hot; leave this
alone, war is Man's sole affair!”

By Zeus, but a man of fine sense, he.

How sensible?
You dotard, because he at no time had lent
His intractible ears to absorb from our counsel one temperate word of
advice, kindly meant?
But when at the last in the streets we heard shouted (everywhere ringing
the ominous cry)
“Is there no one to help us, no saviour in Athens?” and, “No, there is
no one,” come back in reply.
At once a convention of all wives through Hellas here for a serious
purpose was held,
To determine how husbands might yet back to wisdom despite their
reluctance in time be compelled.
Why then delay any longer? It's settled. For the future you'll take
up our old occupation.
Now in turn you're to hold tongue, as we did, and listen while we show
the way to recover the nation.

You talk to us! Why, you're mad. I'll not stand it.

Cease babbling, you fool; till I end, hold your tongue.

If I should take orders from one who wears veils, may my
neck straightaway be deservedly wrung.

Last edited by Aaron Poochigian; 12-10-2018 at 01:32 AM.
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