David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Classical Antiquity 20 (1):79-119 (2001)
Many of Menander's comedies are structured according to a rape plot pattern in which a young Athenian citizen usually rapes and impregnates a female citizen prior to the opening of the play. In most cases, the rape leads to a happy ending: the marriage of the rapist and victim. This casual treatment of rape is striking because in all other respects Menander's plays are not only scrupulously faithful to Athenian law, they also use Athenian legal and social norms as their own generic conventions. Although the rape of a female citizen was a serious oense in Athenian law, potentially punishable with death, and a flagrant violation of the norms of Athenian citizenship, Menandrian comedy never morally or legally problematizes rape. This study considers how the comedies neutralize the potential legal signicance of rape and what this tells us about Athenian law and the ideology of democratic citizenship. It argues that by portraying a neutral form of rape, Menander's comedies implicitly articulate those factors which had the potential to bring "rape" within the purview of Athenian legal discourse. Menandrian Comedy's strategic fidelity to the norms of Athenian citizenship also tells us something about the gender ideology of Athenian democratic citizenship, that is, the ways in which relations between the sexes support and sustain civic relations between men in Athenian political culture and democratic ideology. While Menander's romantic plots uphold the laws of citizen marriage, they do not passively enact the legal constructs. In one common variant of the rape plot, the gendered construction of citizenship embedded in Athenian law is specically conjoined to democratic norms. In this type of play, a wealthy young citizen rapes and eventually marries the daughter of a seemingly poor citizen. By using rape to generate matrimonial unions between the rich and the poor, these plays extend democratic norms into the social arena. The formation of marriages across class lines disrupts the eects of intergenerationality in reproducing social and economic inequalities
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Fredric Jameson (ed.) (2013). The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act. Routledge.
Pierre Bourdieu (1981). Outline of a Theory of Practice. Human Studies 4 (3):273-278.
Emily Greenwood & L. Kurke (2001). Coins, Bodies, Games, and Gold: The Politics of Meaning in Archaic Greece. Journal of Hellenic Studies 121:197.
Richard A. Posner (1995). Sex and Reason. Ethics 105 (3):670-672.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
A. W. Pickard-Cambridge (1924). Aristotle on Comedy. With an Adaptation of the Poetics, and a Translation of the Tractatus Coislinianus. An Aristotelian Theory of Comedy. By Lane Cooper. Pp. Xii + 323. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 38 (7-8):209-.
W. Geoffrey Arnott (1985). Aristotle on Comedy ? Richard Janko: Aristotle on Comedy: Towards a Reconstruction of Poetics II. Pp. Viii + 294; 4 Plates. London: Duckworth, 1984. £24. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 35 (02):304-306.
Keith Burgess-Jackson (ed.) (1999). A Most Detestable Crime: New Philosophical Essays on Rape. Oxford University Press.
Elizabeth Belfiore (1987). Aristotle on Comedy: Towards a Reconstruction of Poetics II. [REVIEW] Ancient Philosophy 7:236-239.
Larry May & Robert Strikwerda (1994). Men in Groups: Collective Responsibility for Rape. Hypatia 9 (2):134 - 151.
Louise Du Toit (2009). A Philosophical Investigation of Rape: The Making and Unmaking of the Feminine Self. Routledge.
Laura Hengehold (1994). An Immodest Proposal: Foucault, Hysterization, and the "Second Rape". Hypatia 9 (3):88 - 107.
David Archard (2007). The Wrong of Rape. Philosophical Quarterly 57 (228):374–393.
Michael Davis (1984). Setting Penalties: What Does Rape Deserve? [REVIEW] Law and Philosophy 3 (1):61 - 110.
Ann J. Cahill (2000). Foucault, Rape, and the Construction of the Feminine Body. Hypatia 15 (1):43-63.
Rachel Hall (2004). "It Can Happen to You:" Rape Prevention in the Age of Risk Management. Hypatia 19 (3):1-19.
Mark Golden (2005). Menander and Democracy S. Lape: Reproducing Athens. Menander's Comedy, Democratic Culture, and the Hellenistic City . Pp. Xvi + 294. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2004. Cased, £26.95. ISBN: 0-691-11583-. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 55 (02):453-.
Vivian Berger (1988). Review Essay/Not so Simple Rape. Criminal Justice Ethics 7 (1):69-81.
Sally J. Scholz (2005). Human Rights, Radical Feminism, and Rape in War. Social Philosophy Today 21:207-224.
Added to index2010-12-09
Total downloads4 ( #424,619 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?