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Analyzing Husband's Defense - Essay Example

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The case of the man, Euphiletus, who caught his wife’s lover can help reconstruct some peculiarities of the life of people who lived in classical Athens. It is necessary to note that women did not enjoy equal rights with men. In the first place, males and females used to have…
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Analyzing Husband's Defense

Download file to see previous pages... ry to note that the parts of the house were equal as they had “the same space”.2 This may mean that husbands respected their wives and treated them as equals. However, it is not clear whether it was a norm for the Greek society at that time. It is clear that women were not allowed to be in their husbands’ areas as the husband was trying to justify his wife’s presence in his part of the house. He stated that it became “quite customary” for his wife to be in his (male) part of the house.3
It is necessary to add that it was common for husbands to have a complete control over their wives’ lives. Females could not have property of their own and their husbands made sure they did not have “too much” of their own and “kept an eye” on their wives “as was proper”.4 Wives could not go out alone but they could leave the house with their husbands.
Notably, maids had more freedom and could leave their households on their own. Maids could go to the market or to other places to complete tasks given. For instance, a maid of a woman approached Euphiletus to tell him about “the man who is wronging”.5 At that, maids could be severely punished or even bitten for no reason. Euphiletus’ wife noted that he “mauled” the maid when he was drunk.6 Apparently, there could hardly be any reason for such a severe physical punishment. It follows that masters could do almost anything with their maids.
It is noteworthy that Euphiletus does not blame his wife for adultery as he keeps stressing that she was seduced and she was a victim of the “great crime” committed by Eratosthenes.7 This fact may have two meanings. First, the wife was seen as a passive recipient of any action undertaken by a man (even if it was a wrongdoing). It is noteworthy that Euphiletus stressed that adultery led to the situation when wives became “more attached” to their lovers and “the whole house” got “in their power”.8 Hence, it seems that wives were simply a part of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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