Masculinity and Sexual Ideology
This concluding chapter summarizes some of the major issues highlighted by the book as a whole, such as the extent to which Dionysius stands as an embodiment of masculine ideals in Chariton’s novel, and the way in which Achilles Tatius uses Cleitophon as the very opposite of such ideals. It is concluded that Cleitophon’s misperformances of gender are the author’s means of subverting traditional ideologies of masculinity, but that there is no way to determine whether Cleitophon himself is conscious of those misperformances. The chapter argues that the novels’ masculinities are presented as epideictic – as things to be performed, whether well or badly. The novels’ authors draw on and reflect on both earlier and contemporary gender ideologies, and while the men examined are not ‘real’, they are nonetheless evidence of very real masculine concerns.
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