Socratic Dialogue In Xenophon Perfect Wife

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In order to get a clear understanding of the importance of women and their roles, it is useful to look over the Socratic dialogue, “Xenophon-Perfect Wife”. The purpose of this dialogue is to make people think, and work toward an ideal about a women’s role in society. This dialogue was written in ancient Greece during 360 BCE. The author, Xenophon, was a student of Socrates. Socrates’ ideas and teachings were about knowing yourself and always questioning everything (Hughes 83). Those ideas apply to this dialogue because it tells the roles of women, and women learning their place in societies and knowing themselves. Ancient Greece in this period of time was very restrictive, and women were always protected by a male guardian (Maynes and Waltner 43). Also, a women’s dress and orientation were a sign of her husband’s wealth. That being said, a wife obeying and following the husband’s rules makes both the husband and wife look good in society. The audience for this dialogue would be specifically male, because the women in the Athenian society weren’t taught how to read. One quote from the dialogue that can help show the culture of the document’s time and place is when Isochomachos is speaking to his …show more content…
Examples of how men overpower women are that only men can own property, women have to stay indoors at all times, and the wives arrange their lives around the husbands (Lybeck). Isochomachos stated “know well, my wife still arranges her life as I taught her then and as I tell you now” (Xenophon 88). Isochomachos taught his wife these ways because they were sociably accepted in Greek culture. Respectable women were secluded, and they were not allowed out in public (Maynes and Waltner 43). This shows that the women of Athens arrange their thoughts and actions based on their husband’s thoughts and actions. This quote also shows that in their society it is assumed that women have less power than

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