VIRTUE, MASCULINITY, AND HIERARCHIES OF DOMINATION IN PLUTARCH’S ANTONY AND DE ISIDE

L Warren

Abstract


Plutarch’s Antony and De Iside et Osiride together tackle the manly
woman and the effeminate man. I suggest that De Iside is the
theoretical exposition of the metaphysics underlying this problem of
gender, resolved by gendering the parts of the tripartite soul. In the
Antony, these expressions of gender in the body are examined in
practice. Female masculinity is defined as a manifestation of virtue
without contradicting the natural fact of the female body, while
manliness is an unvirtuous expression of a desire to dominate.
Plutarch refines the hierarchy of domination that affirms women’s
claim to virtue and preserves traditional social order by examining
the relation between embodied sex and ensouled gender and
assigning an ethical value to its expressions.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7445/64-0-1006

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ISSN 2079-2883 (online); ISSN 0303-1896 (print)

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