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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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What Men Fear

What Men Fear

(p.186) CHAPTER 8 What Men Fear
The Rhetoric of Manhood

Joseph Roisman

University of California Press

This chapter defines fear as the anticipation of something bad in the future. Athenians used a man's reactions to fear to evaluate his character, masculinity, and conduct. The terms “courageous,” “rash,” and “coward,” Aristotle observes, are relative: a courageous man seems rash in comparison to a coward and cowardly in comparison to the rash. Taking advantage of the subjective line between courage and cowardice, and of the importance of intentions and context in judging an act, they claim masculine courage for themselves and ascribe recklessness or unmanly cowardice to others. This chapter focuses on what worried Athenian men, not how worried they were, because the oratorical sources do not permit the evaluation of fear. Thus, it generally shows what Athenian men feared.

Keywords:   Athenian men, fear, masculinity, rash, coward, masculine courage

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