Journal Entry 9/25/17:
In the past week our class has been looking at the play Lysistrata, written by Greek playwright Aristophanes on the subject of the Peloponnesian War. While my gut instinct with this project was to look at how this play could either be set in World War I or World War II in America, I realized that using the USA as the setting for the play would violate the "can travel to in 24 hours rule" that was apparent in many plays in Ancient Greece. It was while following this line of thought that I began looking into the possibility setting Lysistrata in would be France during World War I. When researching WWI, I found out that in France, women were being encouraged to have children due to the low birthrate that was apparent when a large portion of their men were away at war. I believe that this could be used within the play Lysistrata because while the actual act of holding sex back from men may not seem as serious nowadays as it may have in Ancient Greece, that with the pressure to have children in order to increase the population , it gives the women of France a certain amount of power over the government that they might have not otherwise had.
Journal Entry 9/18/17:
Last week when our class was learning about the history of theatre within different countries and cultures, I became interested in how the Romans flooded the coliseum to have mock sea battles called “naumachiae.” Said battles were created to create a spectacle surrounding the success of military naval battles, such as Julius Caesar’s campaigns in Gaul and Egypt. Naumachiae became popularized during the rule of the Roman Emperor Titus, which brought about the creation of flat-bottomed ships that were smaller versions of Roman warships. Many of these reenactments were dramatized depictions of the battle between Athens and Syracuse, in which they would create an artificial island in the center of the flooded arena for the land battles that would take place during the naumachiae. The walls that are currently in the “performing area” were only added once the mock naval battles had lost popularity and had come to a halt during the rule of Domitian. I found it interesting that while there was no physical evidence of these battles nor any artistic renditions from the time, that we were able to know about them due to a few writers that mentioned it in their works.