Rebecca Edwards (Committee Chair), Bruce Laforse (Committee Member), Jeannette Marchand (Committee Member)
Master of Humanities (MHum)
Plutarch uses his Lives to provide moral lessons for his audience on the way he expects them to live. Scholars have long discussed how Plutarch's Lives focus on men, both in their content and in their intended audience. However, Plutarch's Life of Marc Antony also provides exempla for women in the characters of Octavia, Cleopatra, and Fulvia. Drawing on references made in Plutarch's Moralia to Homeric women as well as his depictions of women in the Life of Marc Antony, it is clear that Plutarch wrote not only for a masculine audience, but for a feminine as well. In his works, Plutarch praises women who share the virtues of Homeric wives and he condemns women for acting in ways similar to Homeric witches. This thesis will examine the traits that Plutarch thought were positive or negative in women and how these traits are exemplified in the women of the Life of Marc Antony.
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