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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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Men, Desires, and Self-Control

Men, Desires, and Self-Control

Chapter:
(p.163) CHAPTER 7 Men, Desires, and Self-Control
Source:
The Rhetoric of Manhood
Author(s):

Joseph Roisman

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520241923.003.0008

This chapter revolves around a different sort of power struggle between a man and his own desires or appetites. It seems that concerns about yielding to erotic desire and other pleasures were balanced by an acknowledgment that succumbing to them was common, and hence deserving of sympathy. A prime example of the appeal to the jurors' empathy for men defeated by eros is surely Against Athenogenes. The ethics of drinking wine, like that of sexual activity, reflected masculine concerns and tended to privilege male consumers. Drunkenness was pleaded both in a bid to excuse violent conduct and as evidence of an opponent's violent nature and lack of restraint. Greed disrupted the quality of life at home and in the city and subverted the values and the security that sustained both institutions. Self-control enabled men to resist the undesirable and incapacitating influences of desire and, hence, to behave morally.

Keywords:   power struggle, man, erotic desire, appetites, wine, sexual activity, drunkenness, greed, self-control

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