Thursday seminar: "Dummies of rationality? The crash test women of Ancient Greek drama"

  • Date: –15:00
  • Location: Centrum för genusvetenskap KWB
  • Lecturer: Dimitrios Iordanoglou, Senior lecturer, Department of Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University
  • Organiser: Centre for Gender Research
  • Contact person: Nicole Ovesen
  • Seminarium

Thursday seminar at the Centre for Gender Research. Open for all! No registration required.

Abstract: 
We all know the myth. Agamemnon, the king of kings, sacrifices his own daughter in order get to Troy. After the war, his wife Clytemnestra kills him in return. Years later still their son Orestes appears as an avenger, and Clytemnestra is slain by her own son. In 458 BCE, Aeschylus staged the Oresteia, a trilogy  of plays exalting Athens and her rise from a primitive place, where an eye was demanded for an eye, to a society where principles and the law rule supreme. Aeschylus turned the legend into a political creation myth about how the male, rational citizen created democracy by disarming the clan as a political force. No place here for women – the Greeks considered them to be irrational, guided by inclinations rather than principles, less ‘political’, and less gifted in the realm of theory – and according to scholarly orthodoxy, Aeschylus both inaugurates and cements this massive misogyny. In my talk I will return to his plays, and try to show a somewhat different reality.