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Women Out Of Place

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Chapter Summary

The idealized silence of women was central to Athenian social ideology. This chapter discusses women ?out of place', that is, in a male space where they would ideally be silent but speak nonetheless. It then looks at the apologies that tragic women make when speaking in male space. The chapter examines two examples of Euripidean women deliberately out of place: Evadne in Suppliant Women, and Clytemnestra and Iphigenia in Iphigenia in Aulis. The choruses of both plays are female, but the choruses do not interact with their heroines, with the result that female solidarity is less of an issue than the heroine's own construct of female propriety. This propriety is markedly skewed in these two plays because Evadne and Iphigenia not only speak in a male space, but also exercise authority by naming the ritual they undertake in that space, which in both cases is a marriage to death.

Keywords: Clytemnestra; Euripidean woman; Evadne; Iphigenia; Iphigenia in Aulis; Suppliant Women



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