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Erôs in Ancient Greece$
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Ed Sanders, Chiara Thumiger, Christopher Carey, and Nick Lowe

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199605507

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199605507.001.0001

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The Language(s) of Love in Aristophanes

The Language(s) of Love in Aristophanes

Chapter:
(p.251) 15 The Language(s) of Love in Aristophanes
Source:
Erôs in Ancient Greece
Author(s):

James Robson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199605507.003.0015

This chapter explores the different ways in which Aristophanes' comedies employ erotic vocabulary—‘the language(s) of love’—the thesis being that each play has its own, distinct erotic landscape. The chapter begins with an overview of erotic vocabulary in Aristophanes and the uses to which three key words in particularare put: erôs, pothos andphilia. Studies of three comedies follow in which the thematic importance of erotic vocabulary is examined. In Acharnians, erôs and pothos are shown to be linked to peace, food, sex and the countryside, while philia plays a crucial role in defining the shifting network of allegiances between characters. In Lysistrata, philia is an all-important gendered concept, intimately linked to the female sphere and the struggle for peace. In Wasps, Philocleon’s strong passions, such as his erôs for the law-courts, are ultimately shown to be less enduring than his son’s philia for his father and city.

Keywords:   Aristophanes, Acharnians, Lysistrata, Wasps, erotic, comedy, erôs, philia, pothos

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