Friday, June 16, 2017


Letting It Out, versus Keeping It In

K.J. Dover, Greek Popular Morality (1974; rpt. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1994), p. 101:
While it is the part of a man to endure misfortune bravely (Antiphanes fr. 278), women grieve, complain and weep readily: Alexis fr. 146. 10f., 'When there's nothing the matter with them at all, they always say they're sick'; Eur. Andr. 93-5, the natural inclination of a woman to express her grief and not contain it within herself; Eur. Hel. 991f; Eur. Med. 909, unrestrained anger; ibid. 928, tearfulness; Eur. Or. 1022, reproof of Elektra for her 'womanish lamentations'; Soph. Trach. 1071-5, Herakles, forced by terrible pain to 'weep like a girl', thus becomes 'female'. In Eur. Erechtheus fr. 53 (Austin) 33f. Erechtheus is ashamed to take too fond a farewell of his son, (literally) 'for a woman-hearted spirit is not of a sophos man'.
The tug of war between putting one's emotions on display and keeping them hidden seems to be reflected in Plautus, Cistellaria 59-64 (Selenium and Gymnasium speaking; tr. Wolfgang de Melo):
SEL. I'm wretched and I'm being tortured, my dear Gymnasium: I'm feeling bad and I'm being tormented in a bad way.
I feel pain in my heart, I feel pain in my eyes, I feel pain in my sorrow.        60
What should I say, except that I'm driven to sadness by my own silliness?
GYM. Mind that you make your silliness ready for burial in the place from which it originates.
SEL. What should I do? GYM. Hide it in the darkness in your inmost heart.
Make sure that you alone know your silliness without other witnesses.

SEL. misera excrucior, mea Gymnasium: male mihi est, male maceror;
doleo ab animo, doleo ab oculis, doleo ab aegritudine.        60
quid <ego> dicam nisi stultitia mea me in maerorem rapi?
GYM. indidem unde oritur facito ut facias stultitiam sepelibilem.
SEL. quid faciam? GYM. in latebras abscondas pectore penitissumo.
tuam stultitiam sola facito ut scias sine aliis arbitris.

61 <ego> suppl. Wachter; rapi Gulielmius: rapit P
Walter Stockert doesn't discuss this in his commentary ad loc.—T. Maccius Plautus, Cistellaria: Einleitung, Text und Kommentar (Munich: C.H. Beck, 2012), pp. 102-105.

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