The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia defines desire as the verb "to desire" which in the Scriptures usually means "to long for," "to ask for," "to demand," while the Merriam-Webster English Dictionary defines desire as "to long or hope for : exhibit or feel desire for- . Desire, translated into human behavior and action, is described by the great philosopher Plato (427-347 BC) as mans lowest attribute. The appetitive soul (emotion or desire) is the portion of each of us that wants and feels many things.
In Aristophanes' (450 BC - 388 BC) Lysistrata , the theme of desire is given a new meaning, namely: the desire for sex. In this paper I intend to show how desires new meaning is exaggerated by the playwright to produce a comedy. .
According to Aristotle (384-322 BCE) "comedy is an imitation of inferior people - not, however, with respect to every kind of defect: the laughable is a species of what is disgraceful."" In Lysistrata the "inferior- people are the women. Aristophanes takes women, who at the time were considered to be a lower class of society, and gives them a leader (Lysistrata) who will end a war by withholding sex. The idea of women ending the war is a disgraceful concept related to the time (as was mentioned above) this play took place, hence alluding to the comedic structure suggested by Aristotle. This whole scheme produces a comedic plot by which the theme of desire structures a meaning that outlines the play.
Plato, in the Republic, speaks of desires as a sin because when one desires or craves a certain pleasure, especially sex, he or she become enslaved .
to his or her desires and thus corrupt their own soul. The reason being that desire knows no fulfillment, meaning that once you achieve/conquer your desire another one will await and that cycle will continue forever.
At the beginning of the play it seems as though Aristophanes portrays Lysistrata's motive as a commendable one, i.