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Tragic Ways of Killing a Woman by Nicole…

Tragic Ways of Killing a Woman

by Nicole Loraux

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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573324,051 (4.6)None
In ordinary life an Athenian woman was allowed no accomplishments beyond leading a quiet and exemplary existence as wife and mother. Her glory was to have no glory. In Greek tragedy, however, women die violently and, through violence, master their own fate. It is a genre that delights in blurring the formal frontier between masculine and feminine. Through the subtlety of her reading of these powerful and ambiguous texts, Nicole Loraux elicits an array of insights into Greek attitudes toward death, sexuality, and gender.… (more)



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A scholarly work that explores the gender differences underlying the killing of characters in Greek tragedies. Men die in heroic battle, or are murdered. Women, with a few notable exceptions, either commit suicide or are sacrificed for the greater good of family or nation.

In an ancient world where women had little or no control over their destinies, Loraux highlights how Greek tragedy twists the ordinary gender roles and expectations of those times.

In her readings of these classical texts, with their powerful women who change their own fates (especially when depicted by the iconoclastic Euripides!), Loraux brings interesting insights to the Athenian cultural attitudes to methods of dying for women (and men), as well as attitudes towards gender and sexuality.

This is a scholarly text, which requires concentration and some knowledge of the Greek Classical plays to enhance your reading. But it's also an excellent addition to anyone's reference library. ( )
  JudyCroome | Sep 9, 2012 |
A fascinating study of the self-demise of women in greek tragedy, which Loraux uses to reveal a completely different angle of view into the culture which produced these plays. Her approach is quirky, which allows her to get to a number of insights which a more conventional analysis would have missed. This book made me re-read a number of works with a newly open eye. ( )
  LoMa | Jun 27, 2006 |
Curiously inspiring and compulsive book. Loraux takes a small detail (the ways in which women kill themselves on the Greek stage -- usually with a brooch or poison) and opens up a whole culture. ( )
  deliriumslibrarian | Apr 16, 2006 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nicole Lorauxprimary authorall editionscalculated
Forster, AnthonyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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