Female Sexuality And Its Negative Connotations Essay

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Greek drama shows many instances of female sexuality and the negative connotation associated with it. Through props and tone expressed in lines 190- 585 of Hippolytus, Euripides explicitly addresses the role of woman as an “anti-model” through Greek society’s strict expectations of female sexuality. When female sexuality is controlled, the ultimate goal of patriarchy will succeed in Greek society.
First and foremost, Froma Zeitlin introduces the idea of an “anti-model” in Playing the Other defined as an antagonist to males. The second scene entails Phaedra’s internal conflict with her sexual desires. The chorus wonders how “her husband let this happen” (line 294). Until the end of the play, Phaedra’s husband, Theseus, is “out of town”(line 296). The play ends with Phaedra committing suicide, and his son nearing death. Essentially, Theseus has lost his “oikos” or household. Had he held his wife to social standards, Theseus could have saved his family from shame and dishonor. As Zeitlin explains, “madness, the irrational, and the emotional aspects of life are associate in the culture more with woman” (65). Ultimately, Phaedra’s character is meant to be the antagonist. As Zeitlin explains tragedy is meant to learn and “challenge the male’s civic and rational view in the universe” (67). Males are meant to overtake females in all places not just in the polis. Theseus should have had better control of his household in order to end Phaedra’s sexual desires. Women are incapable of…

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