Voices at work : women, performance, and labor in ancient by Andromache Karanika

By Andromache Karanika

In old Greece, women's day-by-day lives have been occupied by way of quite a few types of exertions. those studies of labor have principally been forgotten. Andromache Karanika has tested Greek poetry for depictions of girls operating and has found facts in their lamentations and paintings songs. Voices at Work explores the advanced relationships among historical Greek poetry, the feminine poetic voice, and the practices and rituals surrounding women’s hard work within the historic world.

The poetic voice is heavily tied to women’s household and agricultural exertions. Weaving, for instance, used to be either a standard kind of lady exertions and a tradition noted for knowing the craft of poetry. cloth and agricultural construction concerned storytelling, making a song, and poetry. daily hard work employed―beyond its socioeconomic function―the strength of poetic production.

Karanika starts off with the belief that there are particular different types of poetic expression and function within the old global that are distinctively woman. She considers those to be markers of a feminine "voice" in historical Greek poetry and offers a couple of case experiences: Calypso and Circe sing whereas they weave; in Odyssey 6 a bathing scene captures lady performances. either one of those situations are examples of the feminine voice filtered into the cloth of the epic.

Karanika brings to the skin the phrases of girls who knowledgeable the oral culture from which Greek epic poetry emerged. In different phrases, she provides a voice to silence.

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Penelope’s weaving and unweaving plays a distinctive role in the evolution of the epic narrative, both at the level of the plot and as a metapoetic refer- W o m e n, L a b o r , a n d P e r f o r m a n c e i n H o m e r 31 ence to oral performance. The weaving of a shroud for a funeral delays the need for her to wed one of the suitors. Motifs of wedding and lamenting are intricately interlaced against the background of work, which forms a reference to the articulation of the female speech act. The Homeric text is full of such references that stage women’s voices.

54 Sheila Murnaghan remarks that such an assertion on the part of Odysseus makes him similar to a poet, whose role is to speak of experiences he has never had. ”55 Poetic performances are defined as a constant interweaving of truth and lies. Lies are meant to be disguised so that they resemble true stories. 56 Penelope bursts into tears after hearing the disguised Odysseus in lines 204– 9. Her reaction is described in cosmic terms by a powerful simile that compares her face to the snow melting in the mountains and her tears to rivers flowing forward.

156–57). From an anthropological viewpoint, we see that lament in practice in modern Greek society exhibits an astuteness about the social position of the deceased and, even more, of the survivors and mourners. When the lament performer is one of the survivors, the lament is preoccupied not only with the fame of the deceased but even more with the life and fame of the survivor. The woman’s position is more vulnerable. ”27 The Cretan female mourners are particularly sensitive in expressing personal pain, directing it toward accusation and voicing anger in order to control what will be said about them, which in turn will help raise their social status.

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