Going Greek

I've been drowning in theatre history, specifically the Greeks.

It's really pretty interesting ... to me. If I can present it to my class the right way, they might dig it too.

We will be reading Oedipus the King (of course!) and I was thinking of doing Lysistrata, because I'd never read it and I thought it would be great to do a Greek comedy as well as tragedy.

And then I read it.

I do not think the administration would appreciate my endorsement of this play for high schoolers. Trust me, y'all; it's dirty. Which is weird, really, because you KNOW teenagers would be so into the Ancients if they could read this play! Seriously, it is right up their alley, what with the innuendos and the straight-up sex talk and whatnot.

That got me to thinking ... when did society become so prudish?

I watched this documentary about Pompeii on the History Channel and it showed some of the wall murals from the homes; I about fainted. Like, the first thing you would see as you walked in the front door is a guy with his huge--really, I'm surprised Greeks don't brag more--penis extending beyond the hem of his toga. And they had phallic windchimes and candleholders. Basically, the artwork was all about The Mighty Penis.

Cut to the 1800s, when women were putting pants on their piano legs to avoid being too raunchy. Or the early 1900s, when seeing a woman's ankles was just SCANDALOUS.

When did we develop this complex about nudity?

I know that personally, for me, I would choose not to see people's butt cracks. Ever. No, really.

And I would soooooooo love it if we got over this midriff-baring thing.

I'm speaking mainly with my Teacher Voice, because I do not need to be seeing my students flaunt themselves in any way, shape, or form, and I am not doing it on purpose--I'm not THAT kind of teacher--but with the low-riding pants and the high-riding shirts, sometimes I just look up from my desk and I'm like, "OH! MY EYES!!"

But didn't Socrates sleep with his student Plato? (I might be making that up ...)

Wouldn't you love to have a time-traveler from Ancient Greece visit you? Wouldn't they be as uncomfortable in your uptight house--where I'm almost willing to bet there are no pictures of hugely endowed exhibitionists--as you would be in 3000 B.C., lighting your penis-shaped candle?

My point is ... Greek plays are awesome. Just not for kids.

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