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The Elegiac PassionJealousy in Roman Love Elegy$
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Ruth Rothaus Caston

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199925902

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199925902.001.0001

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The Nature of Jealousy

The Nature of Jealousy

(p.49) 2 The Nature of Jealousy
The Elegiac Passion

Ruth Rothaus Caston

Oxford University Press

Chapter 2 examines core cases in which we find not only descriptions of jealousy but also judgments about when jealousy is appropriate or not, and how we should either own up to it or control it. The chapter points to the suspicions, accusations, and fantasies that typify the jealous experience in elegy. One of the striking features of the narrator’s judgments is the way in which he criticizes not only too much jealousy, but also too little. The poets imply that anyone who is human and deserving of these attentions should feel jealousy at such betrayals of trust. Yet the narrator’s position is complicated by the fact that he himself is engaged in adulterous relationships that depend upon a husband’s inaction. We see here the self-serving nature of the narrator’s jealousy.

Keywords:   accusations, fantasy, jealous experience, suspicions, adulterous relationships

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