Natalia Tsoumpra (University of Glasgow), "Ritual, obscenity, and female empowerment in Aristophanes’ Lysistrata"
In this talk I examine two cases of female rituals in Lysistrata: I revisit the idea of women as Adoniazousai (Reitzammer 2016), while I also consider the women’s exposure of their genitals in the context of the anasyrma. I argue that the re-enactments of these rituals on stage serve the promotion and celebration of the women’s power of sexuality and fertility. Through their active employment of ritual mockery and disrobing, the women’s customary position in the comic context is overturned: instead of being the objects of humour and ridicule, they become the producers of it. The consideration of the women’s indecent acts as cases of female ritual obscenity sheds light on the women’s claim to leadership while highlighting their indispensability for the city.
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