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malevolent_voices ([personal profile] malevolent_voices) wrote2012-02-11 08:44 pm

Philocleon and the Donkey

If you look at the tags and still want to read this (and probably you will because it's not that bad or anything!) then ;D to you! In all seriousness, I'm basically putting it under one of these because it's not important and because revolves around a hyper-masculine old person clinging to the underside of a donkey. :P

To give anyone reading this some background, this is an excerpt from a play by the (assumedly) Athenian playwright Aristophanes, set in Athens as the Persians are about to invade. The play is called Wasps and (along with another called Frogs) I am studying it for my Classics class!

Now, there's one scene in Wasps where Philocleon is trying to escape the house under a donkey for reasons related to his son, Bdelycleon, imprisoning him in their house so that he can't serve on the jury that goes as follows:

Xanthias: My god, he has too! There's someone under there!
Bdelycleon: Where? Let me see.
Xanthias: Here he is, up this end.
Bdelycleon: Now then, what's going on? Who on earth are you?
Philocleon: No-man.
Bdelycleon: No-man, eh? Where are you from?
Philocleon: Ithaca.
Bdelycleon: Well, No-man, you can get yourself back to No-man's-land, sharpish. Pull him out from under there, quickly. Oh, the dirty old sod -- look where he's stuffed his head. I never thought we'd see our old donkey discharge a juryman!

Now dear old Philocleon is the sort of person whose motivation for being on the jury was to be able to look at boys around the age of 18 in the nude (whereupon the jury would judge by the size of the boys' genitals whether they had passed puberty yet and therefore whether they should do their compulsory military service).
So what I am wondering, in the end, is where exactly he stuffed his head. Another possible question, being that this play is one of the dirtiest I've ever been assigned to read at school and is full of dick jokes already, is whether they were actually referring to his head or his head.

Oh, and the best bit?
Out of the fourteen guys who didn't leave the class "because it's too fucking gay" after our teacher informed us that Alexander the Great had 356 concubines but only ever loved a man, only two are trying to get their timetables changed. Three out of those fourteen guys had actually read the play. XD
Basically, my school is really prejudiced against anything with connotations of homosexuality and I'm not quite sure why because all the bi and gay guys who actually go to the school are treated just like everyone else by everyone else.

This post was brought to you by the New Zealand Qualification Authority's choice of texts for Level 3 Classics and the Hamilton school system in general!

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