By Nancy Worman
This learn of the language of insult charts abuse in classical Athenian literature that centres at the mouth and its appetites, specially speaking, consuming, consuming, and sexual actions. Attic comedy, Platonic discussion, and fourth-century oratory usually set up insulting depictions of the mouth and its excesses to be able to deride specialist audio system as sophists, demagogues, and ladies. even though the styles of images explored are very admired in old invective and later western literary traditions, this is often the 1st e-book to debate this phenomenon in classical literature. It responds to a starting to be curiosity in either abusive speech genres and the illustration of the physique, illuminating an iambic discourse that isolates the intemperate mouth as a visual logo of behaviours ridiculed within the democratic arenas of classical Athens.
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Additional resources for Abusive Mouths in Classical Athens
57 The mouth thus stands in for other body parts, but it also indexes aggressive or ignoble oral activities of many kinds. , on the comic stage or oratorical platform [b¯ema]) and its reconfiguring by iambic imagery. This is, of course, the ultimate irony of the discourse of comic drama as well as oratory: that as much as the language of abuse dismantles the body, this is also consistently countered by its reconstitution in debased or elevated form on stage. 58 The present study aims to supplement this discussion as well, by considering how the linguistic codes and conventions of these performance genres affect our understanding of the symbolic significance of the iambic body’s abused and abusive parts.
Odysseus twice tries to persuade Achilles to reenter the community of warriors and the battle (Il. 155–83, 216–37), both times deploying the imagery of fair-sharing. 21 In book 19 Odysseus also urges Achilles to eat (and to allow his men to eat) before returning to battle. 22 Food and drink embolden the heart (qarsalon . . 23 Achilles’ response dismantles such pragmatic and sanguine schemes, and establishes far grimmer combinations. 210; cf. 210; cf. 214). Achilles thus uses his mouth for mournful ejaculation rather than ingestion and causes 20 21 22 23 24 Cf.
45 This would indicate that Odysseus, as a proto-iambic figure, undergoes a particular kind of test with Melantho, as opposed to his other abusers: that of the hungry poet who contends with women to shore up his power as a curser of men. His words, thus sanctioned, would carry a special, even divine, force – as indeed they often seem to in the denouement of the Odyssey. , Od. 357–64. See also Bakhtin 1984: 197 regarding the objectification of and thus the physical violence directed toward the target of abuse.
Abusive Mouths in Classical Athens by Nancy Worman