Thesmophoriazusae (Women Celebrating the Thesmophoria) is a comedy written by the Greek playwright Aristophanes. It was first produced in 411 BC.
In the fantasy, the character of Euripides learns that the women of Athens are secretly holding a trial of sorts to decide his fate. The female population is up in arms over the playwright's continual portrayal of women as mad, murderous, erotomaniac, and suicidal (even as his most sympathetic protagonists). They are using the festival of Thesmophoria, an annual fertility celebration dedicated to Demeter, as a cover for their plot to hold Euripides accountable for his slanderous words.
Euripides, panicked by this turn of events, seeks help from the effeminate poet Agathon. His plan is to have Agathon pretend to be a woman and go to the debate in order to get information and advocate on his behalf. But after he refuses, Euripides' aged relative Mnesilochus offers to go in his stead. Euripides shaves him, dresses him up in women's clothes borrowed from Agathon, and sends him off.
At the assembly, the woman take turns telling their grievances against Euripides, such as how their husbands no longer trust them after going to his plays. Mnesilochus then speaks up, saying things about women that are even worse than how Euripides has portrayed them, and the women are disgusted by his words. Just then Cleisthenes arrives to warn them that a man in the disguise of a woman has been sent by Euripides and is in their midst.
The women suspect Mnesilochus, pointing out that "she" is the only one they don't know. After they remove his clothes, they discover he is indeed a man. He grabs a wine skin with booties, which is supposed to appear as one of the women's babies taken hostage, but it is to no avail. They call the authorities, and he is captured.
Euripides makes an attempt to free him through trickery by acting out scenes from his plays. The first one is from Helen; Mnesilochus plays Helen, and Euripides plays in the disguise of Menelaus. The first attempt fails, and so he tries a scene from the play Andromeda (now lost). Euripides dressed up as the legendary hero Perseus comes swooping into the scene on a device used frequently by Greek playwrights to allow for a deus ex machina plot, but it fails as well.
Euripides then enters a third time, and his identity is discovered. He sends a dancing girl and flute girl to distract the guard, and then promises to the women to stop giving them a bad name in his writing. He saves himself and Mnesilochus from the wrath of the female population, and the comedy ends happily.