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The Rhetoric of ManhoodMasculinity in the Attic Orators$
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Joseph Roisman

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520241923

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520241923.001.0001

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Old Age and Manipulating Manhood

Old Age and Manipulating Manhood

(p.204) (p.205) Conclusion Old Age and Manipulating Manhood
The Rhetoric of Manhood

Joseph Roisman

University of California Press

This chapter presents a discussion of old men and old age in the oratorical corpus. The old fall short of several masculine and communal ideals. Aristotle's observation that old men cling to life reflects the perception that their fight against the inevitable is pathetic. It shows the sympathy and responsibility for the old, especially for parents and relatives. Athenian speakers depict the old, not only as powerless and in need of care, but also as men of authority and wisdom. Masculine expectations, then, were conflicting and uncertain. Athenian masculinity disdained individuals and groups who fell outside its categories, and it contributed to social inequality, discord, and even oppression. In the final analysis, it was too demanding, too ambitious, too pervasive, and too ill-defined, even though Athenian men continued to try to talk their way through it.

Keywords:   old men, old age, manhood, Athenian masculinity, Aristotle, Athenian speakers, Athenian men, social inequality

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