Toward the end of Lysistrata, the mute figure of Diallage ('Reconciliation') (19) appears as a symbol (20) of the cessation of hostilities not only between the Athenian women and their husbands, but also between Athenians and Peloponnesians.
The Diallage passage abounds with anatomical-geographical allusions that reflect the realpolitik of 411 BC Stroup (2004:67) calls this 'a bawdy and strangely colonial sexualisation of geographical territory'.
Stroup (2004:67) succinctly summarises the function of the Diallage passage: '[S]eemingly insoluble land disputes are peacefully resolved from the comic perspective of the porne, 'dividable' precisely because she lacks both voice and sexual or social autonomy'.
Nell is necessarily passive; Diallage is nearly passive, her only action being to grab the Negotiators by the penis (Lys.
Thus Nell is implicitly, and Diallage explicitly, subjected to the gaze, and especially to the male gaze, of the spectator.
Although Myrrhine and then, particularly, Diallage
(Reconciliation) are objects of male desire within the play and the latter the symbol of prospective (re-)union, the major comic focus is on the phallus as the source of vulnerability and weakness, as first Cinesias is teased and frustrated (50) and then the ambassadors are forced into agreeing to a peace treaty (1081-3):
At the same time, Satan's use of diallage
and other devices encourages the student to realize the extent to which rhetorical persuasiveness and stylistic eloquence are not - and have never been - solely the province of benevolent men and women seeking to bring about good, but that the wicked can use the power of rhetoric for evil ends.