When A Young Man Falls in Love: The Sexual Exploitation of Women in New Comedy

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Taylor & Francis, Mar 11, 2002 - History - 224 pages
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In this stimulating and provocative book Vincent J. Rosivach examines the plays of New Comedy to reveal how the sexual relationships between the male and female protagonists are essentially exploitative.
In the plays of New Comedy young men either rape young women, have affairs with impoverished young women whom their mothers exploit, fall in love with and frequently purchase young female slaves whose owners prostitute them, or pay cash and gifts to have affairs with independent women, the famous hetairai or 'companions'. When A Young Man Falls in Love examines the individual plays to establish how the representations of heterosexual relationships fall into various stereotypical patterns and to explore the suppositions about social status which underlie these stereotypical and comic portrayals.
Vincent J. Rosivach displays that the affairs in the plays are structured to the advantage of the young man and argues that this dynamic which privileges male over female, citizen over foreign and rich over poor reflects and reinforces assumptions about class, status and gender held by contemporary Greek and Roman audiences. When A Young Man Falls in Love is an arresting and important book, which poses important questions about the dramatic portrayal of women in the Roman world. Among the plays discussed are:
* Menander, The Bad-Tempered Man and The Samian Woman
* Caecilius, The Little Necklace and The Wet-Nurse
* Plautus, The Pot of Gold and The Rope
* Terence, The Brothers and The Eunuch.

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