... the concept of effeminacy is employed throughout the Iliad in order to create an ‘other’ against which epic masculinity can be defined. Although the presentation of the effeminised male ( hypothetical oractual) is often ambiguous and multifaceted, an examination of effeminacy and masculine ‘otherness’, within the context of the gender dynamics of the epic, has important implications for an understanding of the construction of masculinity.
Actualised or hypothetical effeminacy is constructed in the Iliad in order to define, by contrast , a ‘proper’ masculinity, founded on concepts of martial fortitude and civic responsibility, thoroughly antithetical to the ‘other’ which the effeminised male symbolizes.
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