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Lecture

Lysistrata Lecture Notes

3 Pages
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Department
Classics
Course Code
CLA232H1
Professor
Victoria Wohl

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March 9th Lysistrata
- Medical writers talked about uselessness of womens pleasure except in
reproduction sex for fun = useless and wasteful
- Sophocles play Women of Trachis
Herakles wife Deianira gives him a love potion which turns out to be
poison
- Medeas love kills everybody
- General observation: female desire = destructive
- Lysistrata shows women as sex-obsessed and reinforces stereotype of womens
desire as destructive
- But its written by a man!
- have to return to Sappho to see how women felt about their own sexuality
- Sappho 31: love triangle, love is painful and like death for the woman, while she
admires the mans coolness
- Sappho 96: consoles Atthis for absence of lover Arignota, lover as a mental
image
- Overall message that love is dangerous and devastating, but not for the objects
for the lovers themselves
- Sappho 2: lots of erotic nature, flower imagery; female sex shown as natural
and beautiful
- Although her poems are homosexual and written for women, they’re set against
a backdrop of marriage and heterosexual relationships
- Seems that women were able to have homosexual relationships as well as
marriage makes sense because it was regular among men
- Pederasty:
Normal among upper classes; nearly always between citizens
Both an educational and sexual relationship, considered mutually
advantageous
oBoy benefitted socially, man benefitted sexually
oExpected to continue the friendship minus the sex their whole lives
oConsidered good for state, close bonds it formed were beneficial in
the military
oPeacefully coexisted with marriage
eromenos boy beloved
erastes man lover
fine line between pederasty and prostitution stigma against overly
flirtatious boys and too-old boys
Adult homosexuality considered disgusting
oSubmissiveness during sex considered shameful, so they just
pretended it had never happened in their youth
Famous eromenos: Alcibiades; pursued Socrates
Even Zeus had an eromenos: Ganymede
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Description
March 9 Lysistrata - Medical writers talked about uselessness of womens pleasure except in reproduction sex for fun = useless and wasteful - Sophocles play Women of Trachis Herakles wife Deianira gives him a love potion which turns out to be poison - Medeas love kills everybody - General observation: female desire = destructive - Lysistrata shows women as sex-obsessed and reinforces stereotype of womens desire as destructive - But its written by a man! - have to return to Sappho to see how women felt about their own sexuality - Sappho 31: love triangle, love is painful and like death for the woman, while she admires the mans coolness - Sappho 96: consoles Atthis for absence of lover Arignota, lover as a mental image - Overall message that love is dangerous and devastating, but not for the objects for the lovers themselves - Sappho 2: lots of erotic nature, flower imagery; female sex shown as natural and beautiful - Although her poems are homosexual and written for women, theyre set against a backdrop of marriage and heterosexual relationship
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