Staging Shame: Constructing Aischunē in Menander’s Samia and Dyskolos
AuthorRuprecht, Daniel Matthew
AdvisorChristenson, David M.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis thesis explores the Greek notion of aischunē as represented in Menander’s Samia and Dyskolos. The term aischunē conveys an emotion, a disposition, and an ethical code related to the concepts of shame, guilt, embarrassment, and dis/honor. I argue that aischunē cannot map directly onto any modern concept, but by analyzing how and why characters express aischunē in Menander’s family dramas, we can more fully understand the social frameworks underlying it and begin to understand how the emotion felt. Because part of aischunē is an expression of an emotion, Chapter 1 deals with emotional theory, how one can conduct a study into the history of emotions. Building on decades of interdisciplinary research, I argue that emotions are at least partially socially constructed, and, to study aischunē, one must investigate the constructs. I then lay out working definitions of three modern American emotional constructs—shame, guilt, and embarrassment—which are necessary touchstones to talk about ancient aischunē. Finally, I distinguish aischunē from aidōs, both of which denote sorts of shame/guilt/honor. In Chapter 2 and 3, I analyze each instance of aischunē in Menander’s Samia and Dyskolos, and I argue for a different translation to better convey complexities of meaning in each case.
Degree ProgramGraduate College