The Nature of Jealousy

Ruth Rothaus Caston

in The Elegiac Passion

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199925902
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980475 | DOI:

Series: Emotions of the Past

The Nature of Jealousy

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Chapter 2 examines core cases in which we find not only descriptions of jealousy but also judgments about when jealousy is appropriate or not, and how we should either own up to it or control it. The chapter points to the suspicions, accusations, and fantasies that typify the jealous experience in elegy. One of the striking features of the narrator’s judgments is the way in which he criticizes not only too much jealousy, but also too little. The poets imply that anyone who is human and deserving of these attentions should feel jealousy at such betrayals of trust. Yet the narrator’s position is complicated by the fact that he himself is engaged in adulterous relationships that depend upon a husband’s inaction. We see here the self-serving nature of the narrator’s jealousy.

Keywords: accusations; fantasy; jealous experience; suspicions; adulterous relationships

Chapter.  13394 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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