Spoken Like a Woman: Speech and Gender in Athenian Drama

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $14.49
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 78%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (8) from $14.49   
  • New (4) from $34.00   
  • Used (4) from $14.49   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:



New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

1999 Hardcover 8vo, hardcover. New in dust jacket. Bright, crisp & clean, unread. 293 p.

Ships from: Cockeysville, MD

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Seller since 2015

Feedback rating:


Condition: New
Brand New Item.

Ships from: Chatham, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:


Condition: New

Ships from: Chicago, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Seller since 2015

Feedback rating:


Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Sort by


In ancient Athens, where freedom of speech derived from the power of male citizenship, women's voices were seldom heard in public. Female speech was more often represented in theatrical productions through women characters written and enacted by men. In Spoken Like a Woman, the first book-length study of women's speech in classical drama, Laura McClure explores the discursive practices attributed to women of fifth-century b.c. Greece and to what extent these representations reflected a larger reality. Examining tragedies and comedies by a variety of authors, she illustrates how the dramatic poets exploited speech conventions among both women and men to construct characters and to convey urgent social and political issues.

From gossip to seductive persuasion, women's verbal strategies in the theater potentially subverted social and political hierarchy, McClure argues, whether the women characters were overtly or covertly duplicitous, in pursuit of adultery, or imitating male orators. Such characterization helped justify the regulation of women's speech in the democratic polis. The fact that women's verbal strategies were also used to portray male transvestites and manipulators, however, suggests that a greater threat of subversion lay among the spectators' own ranks, among men of uncertain birth and unscrupulous intent, such as demagogues skilled in the art of persuasion. Traditionally viewed as outsiders with ambiguous loyalties, deceitful and tireless in their pursuit of eros, women provided the dramatic poets with a vehicle for illustrating the dangerous consequences of political power placed in the wrong hands.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A useful, occasionally provocative overview of the politics of gendered diction."Choice
A useful, occasionally provocative overview of the politics of gendered diction.
A useful, occasionally provocative overview of the politics of gendered diction.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691017303
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 8/9/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 331
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura McClure is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

CHAPTER ONE The City of Words: Speech in the Athenian Polis 3
Speech and the Construction of Civic Identity 8
Speech in the neater of Dionysus 15
The Silence of Athenian Women 19
Women as Speakers in Athenian Drama 24
Summary of Chapters 29
CHAPTER TWO Gender and Verbal Genres in Ancient Greece 32
Ancient Observations about Women's Speech 38
Lamentation 40
Aischrologia 47 Choruses of Girls and Women 52
Gossip and Volubility 56
Seductive Persuasion 62
Conclusion 68
CHAPTER THREE Logos Gunaikos: Speech and Gender in Aeschylus' Oresteia 70
The Male Chorus as Internal Audience 72
Gender and Performance: Clytemnestra's Shifting Verbal Genres 73
Clytemnestra's Binding Song 80
The Lament of Cassandra 92
Clytemnestra's Heroic Speech and the Feminized Chorus 97
Speech and Gender in the Choephori 100
Orestes and judicial Speech 104
Women's Speech in the Pairs: The Eumenides 105
Conclusion 111
CHAPTER FOUR At the House Door: Phaedra and the Politics of Reputation 112
Phaedra's Concern for Reputation 116
Eros and Illusion: Aphrodite's Prologue 119
Hippolytus and the Language of Prayer 121
Women's Traffic in Speech.- The Chorus 123
Phaedra's Shameful Speech 125
Eros and Rhetoric: Phaedra's Great Speech 127
The Nurse's Charm of Speech 135
Hippolytus' Invective against Women 142
The Agon and judicial Discourse 146
The Song of Girls and the Laments of Men 153
Conclusion 157
CHAPTER FIVE Women's Wordy Strife: Gossip and Invective in Euripides' Andromache 158
The Status of Speech in the Andromache 161
Spartan Women and Their Speech 164
Hermione's False Accusations 168
Female Nature on Trial: The First Agon 170
The Male Intruder: The Second Agon 183
Helen and the Education of Women: The Third Agon 186
Hermione's Invective against Women 193
Slander: The Male Disease 198
Rescuing Marriage: Peleus and Thetis 201
Conclusion 203
CHAPTER SIX Obscenity, Gender, and Social Status in Aristophanes' Thesmophoriazusae and Ecclsiazusae 205
Gender and Comic Obscenity 206
Ritual and the Origins of Comic Obscenity 215
Comic Masculinity: The Relative in the Thesmophoriazusae 218
Rendering the Female: The Relative's Flawed Performance 226
Rhetoric and Obscenity at the Thesmophoria 228
The Scythian Archer and the Recovery of Masculinity 235
A Female Rhetor: Praxagora in the Ecclesiazusae 236
Blepyrus' Scatological Obscenity 246
Speech in the Gynaecocracy 248
The Speech of Older Women 253
Conclusion 258
CHAPTER SEVEN Conclusion 260

Read More Show Less


"Spoken Like a Woman is excellently grounded in recent work on social history, in particular on the social regulation of women's speech in classical Athens. The discussions of individual plays are original and illuminating. The book will be indispensable reading for those researching women in Greek drama or gender in ancient literature."—Edith Hall, Somerville College, Oxford

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 7, 2014

    Awesome....!Beautiful....!Wonderful....!I really enjoy it.....!

    Awesome....!Beautiful....!Wonderful....!I really enjoy it.....!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)