Rivalry and desire: male-male relations in Ovid's Amores and French feminist theory Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Bunner, Emily Dawn
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English and Comparative Literature
  • This thesis examines the role of male-male rivalry within Ovid's Amores by using French feminist theory to interpret how the exchange of women, among men, characterizes the amator's relations to the puella, his rivals, and his poetry. The amator's focus on the actions and attitudes of his rivals reveals the mediating function of the puella, who is valued for her ability to create relations between men and to allow men to maintain these relations through contact with her body. This rivalry is also important at the metatextual level: just as the amator desires the puella because she has been made valuable by the desire of other men, the themes he borrows from epic poetry are valuable because they belong to and are valued by other authors. Both the puella and text are the product of male desire that is structured by the amator's interaction with his rivals.
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  • Downing, Eric
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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