Ekklesiazousai) or 'women at the assembly
' was a successful Greek comedy produced by Aristophanes
sometime around 392 BCE
. The play's theme concerned a group of women taking over the Athenian
assembly and exerting their will over the populace. The play is bawdy, like most comedies of the age, and contains lyric
passages, however unlike other comedies of the era, the chorus
was not the main focus of the play and only occurred at the very end, as a sort of entertainment when the action slowed down. More prominent were witty
dialogue and comical situations, which foreshadowed later developments in the New Comedy
In the play, a group of women disguising themselves as men sneak into the ecclesia and succeed in passing a motion handing over all control of state affairs to women. A powerful female character named Praxagora ascends to control of the conspiracy and becomes the Greek head of state. She immediately begins to implement polices like communal property, community care for children, and the guarenteed right to sweet, sweet nookie for the old and ugly. Then she makes preparations for a communal dinner. Why not?
The play splits into observations of different characters' responses, with one conscientious citizen rushing off to hand in his property under the new laws, another skeptically evaluating the new system. A young man returning to his girlfriend is mobbed by three hags demanding him to have sex with them under the new laws, and he is dragged off kicking and screaming. As an afterthought, the chorus sings a parting ballad about going off to the communal dinner, and curtain!