Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Courage in the Democratic PolisIdeology and Critique in Classical Athens$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ryan K. Balot

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199982158

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199982158.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 25 June 2019

Cocky Athenian Men?

Cocky Athenian Men?

Chapter:
(p.256) Chapter 12 Cocky Athenian Men?
Source:
Courage in the Democratic Polis
Author(s):

Ryan K. Balot

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199982158.003.0012

The traditional Greek culture represented courage as the cardinal virtue of men; the Greek word for courage was, literally, “manliness.” This chapter explores the relationship between courage and gender in democratic Athens, through offering a detailed interpretation of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata. Contrary to previous interpretations, this one focuses on the play’s male characters. Aristophanes’ chorus of Athenian men are presented as excessively beholden to traditional, “fiery,” or hot-headed ideals of manhood, which turn out to be harmful to their families, households, and city. Aristophanes’ critique of the Athenians’ “manly” bellicosity is balanced by his approbatory representation of the Greek women, and especially the title character, who supersedes the traditional attributes of her gender and exemplifies an androgynous ideal embodying courage, moderation, and good sense. Without substituting a proto-feminist ideal for traditional values, Aristophanes offered a telling criticism of conventional manliness and a novel understanding of the appropriate means and ends of courage.

Keywords:   Aristophanes, Lysistrata, manliness, machismo, androgyny

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .