Friend or Flatterer? A Wife as a Mirror in Plutarch's

Przyjaciel czy pochlebca? Żona jako lustro w "Zaleceniach małżeńskich" Plutarcha (14, 139F–140A)
Friend or Flatterer? A Wife as a Mirror in Plutarch's "Advice to the Bride and Groom" (14, 139F–140A)

Author(s): Joanna Sowa
Subject(s): Literary Texts, Studies of Literature, Ethics / Practical Philosophy
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego
Keywords: Plutarch; marriage; friendship; flattery, mirror

Summary/Abstract: In chapter 14 of the "Advice to the Bride and Groom" Plutarch recommends a wife should behave like a mirror, faithfully reflecting her husband’s moods and attitudes. In this paper I compare this piece of advice with other mirror-similes which have been related to human beings (as lovers, friends, flatterers, and models to follow) in ancient Greek and Roman literature, especially in Plutarch’s works. I conclude that the ideal Plutarchan wife has been situated, perhaps unintentionally,„between” friend and flatterer, because the mirror-simile in the Advice… symbolizes not only the true unity of man and his wife, but also the strict hierarchy amongst them.

  • Issue Year: XVIII/2015
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 37-52
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: Polish