In ordinary life an Athenian woman was allowed no accomplishments beyond leading a quiet and exemplary existence as wife and mother. Her glory was to have no glory. In Greek tragedy, however, women die violently and, through violence, master their own fate. It is a genre that delights in blurring the formal frontier between masculine and feminine. Through the subtlety of her reading of these powerful and ambiguous texts, Nicole Loraux elicits an array of insights into Greek attitudes toward death, sexuality, and gender.
A vivid demonstration of how women die in Greek tragedy… Exciting and erudite…the graceful scholarship and sound judgment that Loraux demonstrates should nudge the classical tradition toward more writing in this direction.
Remarkable not only for the breadth and precision of its scholarship and the refined subtlety of its interpretations but also for the wealth of meaningful connections it suggests… Challenging and brilliant throughout… Its exploration of the social, psychological, and physical implications of the deaths the poets contrived for their female characters adds a new dimension to our understanding of Attic tragedy.
Loraux elegantly unfolds from the language of tragedy a discourse about women… This is a very fine book, which opens new dimensions in our understanding of Athenian civic ideology, tragedy’s paradoxical nature as both relaxing and confirming boundaries, and the social dynamics of gender distinctions.
- 114 pages
- 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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