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Author Dutsch, Dorota

Title Feminine discourse in Roman comedy : on echoes and voices / Dorota M. Dutsch
Published Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2008


Description 1 online resource (xiii, 278 pages)
Series Oxford studies in classical literature and gender theory
Oxford studies in classical literature and gender theory.
Contents Introduction : reading towards the other -- Plautus' Pharmacy -- Of pain and laughter -- (Wo)men of Bacchus -- Father tongue, mother tongue : the back-story and the forth-story
Summary "Ancient scholiasts and modern scholars have long been aware of a specialized feminine vocabulary (terms of endearment, a special word for 'please', and interjections) used by the authors of Roman comedy. Dorota M. Dutsch investigates the cultural implications of these linguistic choices. Lexical mannerisms, it emerges, are only one manifestation of a larger tendency to portray women as disregarding interpersonal boundaries and moral principles in their attitudes towards others and themselves. Yet comedy also employs allegedly feminine features of speech as a means of undermining masculine identities and creating ambiguous figures, such as that of the comic lover. Conversely, masculine points of view are often grafted onto the speech of comedic women. Most comedic roles thus represent both the dominant cultural discourse (male) and the voices this discourse attempts to exclude (female). The tension between these voices, which constitutes an implicit theme in the first half of Dutsch's study, takes centre stage in the second half. This part of the book explores the interface between the feminine discourse of Roman comedy and other ancient perceptions concerning gender and speech. Contemporary Roman notions of gender and boundaries, and Plautus' use of bacchanalia as a metaphor for acting, are first brought into focus. The narrative then moves away from Plautus and Terence, to examine Greek and Roman assumptions about identity and language, and eventually proposes that the Platonic concept of the chora is a particularly useful lens for examining the feminine in Roman comedy."--Jacket
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 232-257) and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Plautus, Titus Maccius -- Characters -- Women
Terence -- Characters -- Women
Plautus, Titus Maccius
Women in literature.
Latin drama (Comedy) -- History and criticism
DRAMA -- Ancient, Classical & Medieval.
Latin drama (Comedy)
Women in literature
Genre/Form Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 9780191559860