MAPPING WOMEN’S BODIES AND THE MALE ‘GAZE’: RECONCILIATION IN ARISTOPHANES’ LYSISTRATA
AbstractThis article returns to the debate centred around feminist readings ofAristophanes’ Lysistrata (recently aired in Akroterion by Pauw2014) and of the Reconciliation scene, in particular, in which theterms of the peace treaty between Sparta and Athens are mapped bythe male ambassadors on the naked and mute body of a woman,whose body is actually that of a male actor. Problems raised bycontemporary theories of the male gaze, as applied to the Atheniantheatre, and the possibly pornographic dismemberment andcommodification of the female body are explored in relation both toAthenian constructs of sex, gender and sexuality in the 5th centuryBC, and to reception of the text and play by multi-cultural audiencesand readers in contemporary South Africa.
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