The feminine Other in Euripides’ Hecuba : exploring tensions in the masculine classical polis

Welman, Thandi (2013-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis explores how the feminine Other is used by Euripides in the Hecuba to highlight certain tensions between an aristocratic ideal of manliness and a classical democratic masculinity in the fifth century Athenian polis. The first chapter will establish the masculine nature of the Athenian polis and discuss the different elements which highlight the inherent masculinity of Athenian society. The second chapter provides a socio-political context for the position of women in fifth century Athens and explores the otherness of the feminine in the masculine polis. Chapter three explores the problematic nature of speech in the democratic state and uses the feminine Other in the Hecuba to examine possible tensions between an outmoded aristocratic ethos and the democratic ideal of manliness. In the fourth chapter Euripides' use of the Other in the Hecuba is utilized to discuss violence, revenge, and masculinity in the Athenian polis. The final chapter provides a discussion on nomos and how the tensions between aristocratic and democratic ideals problematise the authority of traditional laws and how Euripides uses the feminine Other in the Hecuba to emphasise these issues.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis ondersoek die wyse waarop Euripides die vroulike Ander in Hecuba gebruik om spanning tussen die aristokratiese ideaal van manlikheid en die klassieke demokratiese manlikheid in die vyfde-eeuse Atheense polis na vore te bring. Die eerste hoofstuk sal die manlike aard van die Atheense polis vestig en sal die elemente wat die inherente manlikheid van die Atheense samelewing beklemtoon, bespreek. Die tweede hoofstuk vervat die sosio-politieke konteks van die vrou se posisie in vyfde-eeuse Athene en verken die andersheid van die vrou in die manlike polis. Hoofstuk drie verken die problematiese aard van spraak in die demokratiese staat en gebruik die vroulike Ander in Hecuba om moontlike spanning tussen die verouderde aristokratiese etos en die demokratiese ideaal van manlikheid te ondersoek. Die vierdie hoofstuk ondersoek Euripides se gebruik van die Ander in Hecuba om geweld, wraak en manlikheid in die Atheense polis te bespreek. Die finale hoofstuk vervat 'n bespreking van nomos en die problematiek ten opsigte van die outoriteit van tradisionele wette as gevolg van die spanning tussen aristokratiese en demokratiese ideale en Euripides se gebruik van die vroulike Ander in Hecuba om hierdie geskilpunte te beklemtoon.

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