Analytic review - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
The political ideology of ancient Athens is explored through sexual fantasies which, as Wohl believes, underlie it. By reading the texts of the ancient historian…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER98.6% of users find it useful
Analytic review
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Analytic review"

The Number 17 December Analytic Review The chapter examines the political concept of democracy by comparing it with eroticism and sexual matters. The political ideology of ancient Athens is explored through sexual fantasies which, as Wohl believes, underlie it. By reading the texts of the ancient historian Thusydides and comedian Aristophanes through the prism of ancient Athenians, who often spoke about politics in sexual terms, Wohl uncovers surprising ideas and supports them from the evidence in the pertinent texts. The contrast between Pericles and his follower Cleon in reality is less striking and historically dubious. Both Thesydides and Aristophanes treat Cleon with clear despise. At the same time, their texts offer sufficient evidence that the political relationship between the Athenian political leaders and the demos was erotically colored. It is eroticism that serves the background of both Pericles and Cleon’s political activity as opposites. In this case, Cleon has been historically perceived as a mere parody of Pericles. He seems to have embodied all features that are not characteristic of Pericles as depicted by Aristophanes. At the same time, this vision helps to reveal much about Pericles. Dr Wohl relies on reading their politics not just through the specific features exhibited by Cleon and Pericles, but through understanding the essence of the eroticism inherent in political visions of the demos and its leaders. This leads to emergence of an elaborate political erotica. Within the limited societal model represented by Athens, the politician and the orator at once gets the support of the demos through violent eros. His open mouth epitomizes his desire to make his listeners open their orifices, too. So they gape at him. Erotically, this pederastic relationship puts the orator in a position of eromenos. This is how Cleon is viewed by Thusydides. Pericles, on his part, is believed not to descend to using the violent eros with fellatio and other sexual practices due to his authority. He sublimates the sexual desire into his authority. Yet, the demos retains his sexual desire which is repressed. The difference is Cleon acknowledges the desire and builds his erotic relationship with the demos on this, while Pericles does not, although he also acts in the same paradigm. In the last section of the chapter, Cleon’s political style is analyzed in terms of his rhetorical eros and then compared with that of Plutarch’s Pericles. For Cleon, this rhetorical eros is the essence of democracy, when the orator pleases the demos by the effeminizing effect. While Thusydides purifies Pericles, Plutarch’s representation of the latter clearly places him in the same position as that of Cleon in relation to demos: young Pericles, too, is keen on pleasing the demos before he changes through casting off these “Cleonic” things. Yet, this change was never complete. Plutarch’s Pericles uses the same weapon to fascinate demos – eros, whether he wants it or not, so his oratory becomes a song of seduction. This is how he, too, acts a whore. So these two seemingly opposing figures appear to act in the same paradigm and in the same sexual role in politics.
While I basically agree with Dr Wohl’s arguments and supporting evidence as to the erotic nature of the Athenian democracy, there seems to be one misused metaphor. Specifically, in saying that for Pericles the political eros becomes prostitution, Dr Wohl seems to have chosen an irrelevant term (104). While prostitution in ancient Greece was regarded a degrading practice, especially for free boys, demos willingly engages in the sexual intercourse with either of the politicians. It is free and affairs with either of the politicians do not affect its status. It is true that both: people and orators experience pleasure and sexual satisfaction, but this intercourse is done willingly. It looks more like age-structured pederasty, which was considered a noble practice, rather than prostitution. This idea may well be supported by the fact that in ancient Greece, pederasty was conducted in several phases, and the erastes had to woo the eromenos. So he bought gifts and expressed his affection by touching the genitals of the young boy who was to become his eromenos, which was how he made the latter his lover. This process is very much evident in political erotica of Pericles and Cleon. Yet, one can hardly call it prostitution.
I disagree with the very approach of the author to view the political relationship with the demos through sexual desire. Sexual desire and desire to rule do not refer to the same category, I believe. So they cannot be explored within the same paradigm. Specifically, no one knows real reasons that caused Pericles to be a leader, as no one knows what drove Cleon in his desire to rule. Let us assume they (or at least one of them) were driven by a highly moral drive to become rulers. Maybe they intended to serve their people, rather than enjoying power for the sake of power, as is shown in the essay. Thus, interpretation through the psychoanalytic theory is rather one-sided and lacks historical objectivity.
Works Cited
Wohl, V. Love among the ruins: the erotics of democracy in Athens. Princeton, 2002. Print. Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Analytic review Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(Analytic Review Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words)
“Analytic Review Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document


Analytic Hierarchy Process artical review and comparison

...?Running head: ANALYTIC HIERARCHY PROCESS ARTICLE REVIEW AND COMPARISON Analytic Hierarchy Process Article Review And Comparison Thearticle that is under consideration is of the topic “Use Analytic Hierarchy Process For Project Selection”. (David, Kendrick & Saaty, 2007) The article discusses about the benefits of using Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) while choosing methods that keep the organization falling along the lines of its strategy. The process has been majorly successful in making decisions that identify the optimal process for the improvement of the business. According to the article, a business process strategy is designed in such a way that success is achieved in the financial sector of the organization, in satisfying... ...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Business Research the implementation of information technology. Ferratt, Agarwal, Brown and Moore however, have used the general arguments in favor of the use of human resource as the strategic asset for the firm. However, authors have also used configurational theories to find out the strategic relationship between the different IT HRM configuration and employee turnover. Authors have also used correlation analysis to explore the correlation between different components of configuration with the turnover. Ang, Yee, Koh and Joseph use narrative review as a research method to understand and explore the turnover of information technology professionals. (Joseph, Ng, K, Koh, & Ang, 2007). By using meta-analytic techniques...
6 Pages(1500 words)Assignment

Violent Video Games: Not the Cause of Violent Behavior

...showed that trait aggression, family violence, and male gender are more highly correlated to violence than violent video games. This study underscores that violence has individual and social factors too. Hence, playing violent video games is not a strong causative factor of violent actions. Supporters of the violent video games-violence continue to assert that exposure to violent video games enhances aggressive thoughts and actions, while decreasing pro-social behavior. Anderson and Bushman conducted a meta-analytic review to understand the role of violent video games in aggressive behavior and they realized the association between violent video games and aggressive feelings, thoughts, and actions. Their...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

Analytic source review and evaluation

...?Analytic Source Review and Evaluation Table of Contents Table of Contents 2 Introduction 3 Discussion 3 Illicit Drugs 3 Sexual Assaults 6 Conclusion8 References 9 Introduction Implications of illegal drugs and sexual assaults are most commonly featured as the growing rate of criminal offences and security risks in the present era. The global statistical data regarding these parameters reflects that the problem arises especially for three major reasons. The reasons include limited knowledge regarding social responsibilities towards avoiding the conduct of such offences, negative impacts of the peer groups and lack of guidance or negligence by parents. The methodical studies conducted over the last decades...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

Quantitative Analysis

...? Quantitative Analysis Quantitative Analysis Summary Sirin (2005) conducts a meta-analytic review of research on social economic status and academic achievement. He used a sample of 101,157 learners, 6,871 schools, and 128 districts obtained from 74 independent representative samples to determine the relationship between student’s achievement, and their economic associations (Sirin, 2005). His data analysis indicated that there was a positive relationship between the students socioeconomic and students’ achievement association. This means there was a relationship between class, source, range of socioeconomic status, and the type of socioeconomic status achievement. He also discovered that this...
4 Pages(1000 words)Assignment

Protein Supplements and Bodybuilding

4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Analytic response

...Analytic response Affiliation: The Ashputtle story which discusses the predicaments of a young beautiful girl once her mother dies is almost similar to the tale of Cinderella. The story explains how the stepmother and step sisters mistreat her and make her to be the servant of the house and their own servant as well without acknowledgement of her poor living state and her hurt and pain of losing her mother. In the end however, she triumphs and the roles are reversed (Grimm and Jakob, 1996). The story angers me very much initially because it is a reflection of what some children go through once one of their parent passes on and the other remarries. Her father who should have been her protector from her evil stepmother and...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

Analytic exercise

...Analysis of Metamorphosis by Frantz Kafka Analysis of Metamorphosis by Frantz Kafka Metamorphosis by Frantz Kafka is a text, which describes about Gregor Samsa in connection with his family when he is transformed into ‘horrible vermin’. It can be called a text because the readers can find the qualities of a unified whole in the work (Hoey 2000). Every incident and happening in the story is connected to the main theme of isolation and physical transformation of the protagonist, Samsa. The protagonist narrates the past incidents and also considers his present situation. The switching between past and present is also linked as after getting up, he finds himself as a vermin, but he continuously ponders over his routine life... of Metamorphosis by ...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Accounting Ethics

15 Pages(3750 words)Term Paper

American History Questions

2 Pages(500 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic Analytic review for FREE!

Contact Us