When the Chorus of Old Men fails to secure the Acropolis, the Commissioner of Public Safety comes on the scene to bring Lysistrata and her women to justice. The embodiment of patriarchal authority, law, and order in Athens, the Commissioner orders his squad of four police (or rather, Scythian archers, the Athenian equivalent of our police) to arrest the rebels, but Lysistrata, Kleonike, Myrrhine, and Ismenia fiercely drive them off with household goods. Although the Commissioner is bullheaded and loathes what he calls the “MORAL CHAOS” brought on by the women, he is also intent on understanding the women’s motives. Lysistrata tries to explain, but when the Commissioner becomes outraged by what he thinks is female presumptuousness, she and her cohorts shut him up by forcibly dressing him up like a woman. Later, the Commissioner takes even worse: when he urges a reinvigoration of the war effort, the women attack him until he staggers offstage. By the play’s end, however, even the Commissioner gets a little drunk and only plays at being an enforcer of the rules.
Commissioner of Public Safety Quotes in Lysistrata
The Lysistrata quotes below are all either spoken by Commissioner of Public Safety or refer to Commissioner of Public Safety. 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: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the New American Library edition of Lysistrata published in 1984.).
Lines 254 – 705 Quotes
I DO NOT WANT TO BE SAVED, DAMMIT!
All the more reason.
It’s not only Sparta: now we’ll have to save you from
Related Symbols: Athena and the Acropolis
Page Number and Citation:
Commissioner of Public Safety Character Timeline in Lysistrata
The timeline below shows where the character Commissioner of Public Safety appears in Lysistrata. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Lines 254 – 705
...and is holding a large spindle, an instrument used to spin thread. She tells the Commissioner that he doesn’t need crowbars so much as brains. Outraged, the Commissioner sends a policeman... (full context)
Lines 980 – 1323
...cloak in an attempt to conceal his erection. He has news concerning a truce. The Commissioner enters from the left. He suspects the Spartan is packing a concealed weapon beneath his... (full context)
The Choruses flock together, unified at last, to the door of the Acropolis. The Commissioner, wearing a wreath, carrying a torch, and slightly drunk, emerges from therein. He brandishes his... (full context)
...the feast as “splendiferous.” Wine smoothed things over between the Greek men very effectively. The Commissioner thinks about instituting a new rule: every ambassador should be a bit drunk when doing... (full context)