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Silence I: Gendered Categories

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Chapter Summary

Euripides' peculiar interest in gender is particularly apparent in the way he reserves specific types of silences for his female characters, his male characters, and characters of both sexes. Silence accomplishes different goals for Euripidean women than it does for men. There are two other semantic categories of silence in Euripides, and these appear to be gender-specific. These are what can be dubbed the ?partial muteness' of men; and ?silence as secret-keeping' as a plot device used by Euripidean women and by female choruses. The Euripidean semantics of siôpê and sigê are such that very few Euripidean women, when engaging with this vocabulary, are actually silent in the sense of ?not-speaking'.

Keywords: Euripides; gender; silence



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