The author here reassesses the concept of ‘masculinity’, and argues that it cannot be seen as an absolute standard, but only as the product of perpetual conflict between competing and unstable models.
The argument is sustained by a close reading of the problematic conflict between gendered values in eighteenth-century classical learning. Pope’s Homer ensured the continuation of the tradition of using the Iliad and Odyssey to teach privileged boys how to become more ‘manly’. This book examines this pedagogy in its socio-literary context, and concludes that Pope’s Homer emerges as a relic of the struggle to preserve masculine dignity from the encroachments of feminine values in the text. This knowledge of classical and early modern literature has rarely been brought to bear on gender studies. First published in 1993, it remains a valuable contribution to debates concerning the reception of the Classical tradition.
Introduction Part 1: Manliness in early modern Britain 1. Manliness and the Body Politic 2. Manly Learning Part 2: Gender in Pope’s Homer 3. Manly Ways 4. Father of Virtue 5. The Other Sex 6. The Judgment of Ladies Part 3: The Poet Speaks 7. My Country’s Poet
Reissuing works originally published between 1958 and 1993, this five-volume set offers a selection of scholarship on the greatest classical poet, whose two monumental epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, remain foundational to the Western cultural tradition.
Routledge Library Editions: Homer helps to situate this immense artistic achievement in its historical and cultural context, considering issues such as the relationship between the Homeric epics and the Mycenaean civilisation which preceded them, the importance of Homer for the flowering of Greek tragedy, and the reception of Homer during and after the Enlightenment.