Responses to 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

Responses to Jealousy

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Chapter 4 examines the use of violence as a response to jealousy. The poets give attention to the subsequent stages and the reactions to jealousy, where we find another distinction between male and female behavior. Women are represented as using physical blows, while men explicitly avoid brute aggression, resorting to verbal abuse instead. The elegies examined here make a point of distinguishing these responses, emphasizing the male lover’s self-restraint in contrast to the mistress’ wild and ineffective behavior. The avoidance of violence points not only to the poet’s promotion of a life of love over a life of politics, or of love poetry over epic, but to the way in which the lover has once again appropriated a kind of philosophical attitude but modified it to suit his own interests.

Keywords: violence; restraint; philosophical attitude; male and female behavior

Chapter.  9256 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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