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"Miles Gloriosus" A Close Reading (3 Pages)

718 words - 3 pages

A close reading of "Miles Gloriosus" reveals how Palaestro and Greek Society viewed women and also the role of deception as a plot device. The observation the reader gains from this excerpt is that Palaestro believes that women are deceitful. Palaestro certainly portrays Philocomasium is dishonest, professing that she is "well supplied with lies and perjuries." In fact, he spends twelve lines explaining how manipulative and untruthful she is. This rant illuminates a stereotype created within patriarchal societies: women cannot be trusted.This stereotype is compounded when Palaestro compares women to a notoriously evil animal when he describes Philocomasium as "snake-in-the-grassy." The idea ...view middle of the document...

Although when first introduced to Sceledrus you are led to think that he personifies the stupid slave stock character, however, I believe his archetype is more accurately named the obedient slave. Palaestro himself remarks that he must "confute that confounded spy on the roof/ And convince him that he couldn't have seen her there." When describing Sceledrus Palaestro doesn't call him stupid or dull witted. Quite conversely Palaestro appears worried which suggests that Sceledrus presents a threat to his plot. None the less Palaestro insinuates that Philocomasin could outwit the slave with her cunning lies. This implies that Palaestro believes a women's cleverness exceeds a man's in some circumstances. In fact in the last two rhyming couplets of this excerpt Palaestro says "A slippery woman needn't shop/ For fresh chicanery at the store;/ Her garden at home produces a crop/ Of lies by the bushel beside her door." In other word he says a cunning woman wants for nothing if she learns to employ her manipulation of others.Additionally...

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