Irony and women in Herodotus.

Tank, Helen (2012) Irony and women in Herodotus. Masters thesis, University of Wales, Trinity St David.

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (989kB) | Preview


This is a study of eight stories in Herodotus in which women play a significant role. We argue that these stories are characterised by an irony or ambiguity which unsettles a construction of women as ‘other’. We question whether the concept of polar opposites (war and marriage, for example) is a helpful way to consider the respective roles of men and women. We also test some of the generalisations made by scholars in this area, for example, that women are associated with nomoi that men transgress or that they function as observers rather than agents. We consider the significance of Herodotus as a non-Athenian who brings an outsider’s perspective to events and personalities and who introduces Athenians to themselves, from an ironic distance. We conduct a detailed analysis of each text, using narratological tools to explore characterisation and focus and how Herodotus creates a distance between himself and his (self-interested) logioi through shifting focalisations. We make a comparative study of particular words (e.g. eros, andreia, pericharis) as part of our study of Herodotean irony and explore how he shows women as well as men using rhetoric to influence events. We also consider women as agents as well as observers and the relationships between men and women in both the private and the public sphere. We have selected texts which enable us to consider individual women and groups, Greeks and non Greeks, queens and slaves

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: Series: Carmarthen / Lampeter Dissertations;10412/259.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Herodotus, Irony, Women
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Masters Dissertations
Related URLs:
Depositing User: John Dalling
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2014 19:13
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2016 16:39

Administrator Actions (login required)

Edit Item - Repository Staff Only Edit Item - Repository Staff Only