Dangerous Voices: Women's Laments and Greek Literature by Gail Holst-Warhaft

By Gail Holst-Warhaft

In Dangerous Voices Holst-Warhaft investigates the facility and which means of the traditional lament, particularly women's mourning of the lifeless, and units out to find why laws was once brought to diminish those laments in antiquity. An research of laments starting from New Guinea to Greece means that this primarily girl paintings shape gave girls significant strength over the rituals of loss of life. The risk they posed to the Greek country prompted them to be appropriated by way of male writers together with the tragedians. Holst-Warhaft argues that the lack of the conventional lament in Greece and different international locations not just deprives ladies in their conventional regulate over the rituals of dying yet leaves all mourners impoverished.

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The same issues of revenge or land disputes were raised in both fora, and conflicts between them are seen by Seremetakis as expressive of tensions between the maximal lineage of the male council and the minimal household unit of the other (504–6). The evidence from the revenge laments themselves suggests that Seremetakis may not be wholly correct in her view that women support the ‘minimal unit’. Women’s loyalty, in many of these laments, seems to lie with the male kin, especially brothers, rather than with husbands or even children.

Seremetakis argues for antiphony as the dominant organizational principle of the laments of Mani. In her view the antiphony of performance, expressed in the interchange between soloist and chorus, underscores a broader relationship of small female lament group to the community, and of women to men. 13 Seremetakis contends that the antiphonic ‘construction’ of pain not only lies at the heart of lament performance but is consciously used by women as a means of social manipulation. As one would expect, according to such a model, women jealously guard their right to lament.

Seremetakis argues for antiphony as the dominant organizational principle of the laments of Mani. In her view the antiphony of performance, expressed in the interchange between soloist and chorus, underscores a broader relationship of small female lament group to the community, and of women to men. 13 Seremetakis contends that the antiphonic ‘construction’ of pain not only lies at the heart of lament performance but is consciously used by women as a means of social manipulation. As one would expect, according to such a model, women jealously guard their right to lament.

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