Lysistrata

Pdf fan dd71f526917d6085d66d045bd94fb5b55d02a108dd45d836cbdd4abe2d4c043d Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)
The conventional Athenian woman Myrrhine arrives guiltily late to Lysistrata’s summons at the beginning of the play, but once there she promises to do anything to end the war, even to cut herself in half like a mackerel—but then she immediately cries out “On with the War!” when asked to abstain from sex. Lysistrata soon persuades Myrrhine to take part in the sex strike, however, and indeed Myrrhine goes on to support the cause by fiercely wielding a blazing lamp against the Athenian police. Toward the end of the play, the fate of Lysistrata’s plot practically rests in Myrrhine’s hands, as she takes the most active role yet in seducing her husband Kinesias and then denying him satisfaction.

Myrrhine Quotes in Lysistrata

The Lysistrata quotes below are all either spoken by Myrrhine or refer to Myrrhine. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
War and Peace Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the New American Library edition of Lysistrata published in 1984.
Lines 706 – 979 Quotes

Your duty is clear.
Pop him on the griddle, twist
the spit, braize him, baste him, stew him in his own
juice, do him to a turn. Sear him with kisses,
coyness, caresses, everything
but stop where Our Oath
begins.

Related Characters: Lysistrata (speaker), Myrrhine, Kinesias
Page Number: 841-845
Explanation and Analysis:

The Chorus of Old Men have been taunting the Chorus of Old Women; one man attempts to kiss a woman, and when this fails he kicks her, only to reveal his pubic hair. Lysistrata, meanwhile, has seen Myrrhine's husband, Kinesias, approaching. He looks mad with desire, and in this passage Lysistrata instructs Myrrhine to excite and tease Kinesias, but to "stop where Our Oath begins"––meaning to stop just at the point before they have sex. Lysistrata's words evoke a grotesque, almost sadistic punishment. She reduces Kinesias to a piece of meat, urging Myrrhine to "baste him, stew him in his own juice." Indeed, her words seem to contradict the stereotype that women are less violent (or objectifying of the opposite sex) than men.

A+

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Lysistrata quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!

—Life is a husk. She left our home, and happiness
went with her. Now pain is the tenant. Oh, to enter
that wifeless house, to sense that awful emptiness,
to eat that tasteless, joyless food—it makes
it hard, I tell you.

Related Characters: Kinesias (speaker), Myrrhine
Related Symbols: Athena and the Acropolis
Page Number: 865-869
Explanation and Analysis:
Myrrhine's husband, Kinesias, has approached the Acropolis. Lysistrata has asked who he is, before flattering him by telling him that he is famous among the women of Athens, who circulate rumors about his penis. Lysistrata allows him to speak to Myrrhine, and in this passage Kinesias laments how terrible their household is without his wife around. On one level, Kinesias' speech might provoke sympathy––he seems to miss his wife terribly, and even brings along their young son to stress how pitiable they are without Myrrhine around. On the other hand, the audience knows that Kinesias is in a kind of sexual frenzy, and thus it is difficult to take him at his word. His love for Myrrhine seems rather instrumental––he loves her mostly for the services she provides to him. 
Get the entire Lysistrata LitChart as a printable PDF.
Lysistrata.pdf.medium

Myrrhine Character Timeline in Lysistrata

The timeline below shows where the character Myrrhine appears in Lysistrata. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Lines 1 – 253
War and Peace Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Rebellion, Patriotism, and the Political Power of Comedy Theme Icon
...other women enter from the right and left, even some ragged rural women. Lysistrata’s friend Myrrhine also enters guiltily. Soon after, the brawny Spartan woman Lampito enters, along with a pretty... (full context)
War and Peace Theme Icon
Rebellion, Patriotism, and the Political Power of Comedy Theme Icon
...to end the war. The women enthusiastically pledge money and hard work to the cause. Myrrhine says that she’s “ready to split myself right up the middle like a mackerel, and... (full context)
War and Peace Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Sexuality and the Battle of the Sexes Theme Icon
Rebellion, Patriotism, and the Political Power of Comedy Theme Icon
...and begin to gloomily walk off, in tears. “On with the War!” cry Kleonike and Myrrhine. They’re willing to walk through fire barefoot, “but not to give up SEX—there nothing like... (full context)
Lines 254 – 705
War and Peace Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Sexuality and the Battle of the Sexes Theme Icon
Rebellion, Patriotism, and the Political Power of Comedy Theme Icon
...retreat by threatening to “stomp the shit right out of [him]” with a chamber pot. Myrrhine repels a third policeman by brandishing a blazing lamp, and Ismenia repels the fourth by... (full context)
War and Peace Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Sexuality and the Battle of the Sexes Theme Icon
...Lysistrata’s presumptuousness, but she shuts him up, winding her veil around his head. Kleonike and Myrrhine join in with comb and wool-basket as well, and soon enough the Commissioner is transformed... (full context)
War and Peace Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Sexuality and the Battle of the Sexes Theme Icon
Rebellion, Patriotism, and the Political Power of Comedy Theme Icon
...with her spindle and winds him in thread; Kleonike empties her chamber pot over him; Myrrhine breaks her lamp on his head. To choose war, the women suggest, is to choose... (full context)
Lines 706 – 979
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Sexuality and the Battle of the Sexes Theme Icon
...approaching, and he’s enflamed with love (as we later learn, “in erection and considerable pain”). Myrrhine identifies this man as her husband, Kinesias. Lysistrata reminds Myrrhine that her duty is to... (full context)
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Sexuality and the Battle of the Sexes Theme Icon
...and they even have a nickname for his incomparable member. Kinesias demands to speak to Myrrhine, but Lysistrata asks what she herself would get out of it. “I’ll raise whatever I... (full context)
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Sexuality and the Battle of the Sexes Theme Icon
Lysistrata moves to where Myrrhine is hidden and the two have a conversation in voices designed to be overheard. Myrrhine... (full context)
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Sexuality and the Battle of the Sexes Theme Icon
Myrrhine takes her baby in her arms. Kinesias says she ought to be ashamed of herself... (full context)
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Sexuality and the Battle of the Sexes Theme Icon
Myrrhine seems to acquiesce, but she says she can’t make love on the ground. She goes... (full context)
War and Peace Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Sexuality and the Battle of the Sexes Theme Icon
Myrrhine then begins to undress, and she asks Kinesias whether he’ll remember to vote for the... (full context)