Beyond Beauty : Chariton 's Alternate Characterization Of Callirhoe

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Beyond Beauty: Chariton’s Alternate characterization of Callirhoe In Chaereas and Callirhoe, Chariton presents many views of the characters. In the novel Chariton emphasizes Callirhoe’s physical beauty both through her interactions with the general public and specific characters, including Dionysius and Artaxerxes as well as their reactions to her physical beauty. This characterization stands in marked contrast to Callirhoe’s own actions and psychology encountered in the novel, demonstrating that Chariton’s overall representation of Callirhoe’s character differed from that of the ideal woman usually encountered in the time. Callirhoe is classified as beautiful from the commencement of the book. When Callirhoe is presented to the public…show more content…
This portrayal of Callirhoe is reinforced by both Dionysius and Artaxerxes as they react to her beauty. When Dionysius first encounters Callirhoe he is struck by her beauty. His initial attraction to Callirhoe is entirely based on her beauty. Her attractiveness does serve to reveal certain other characteristics to Dionysius such as that she is of noble birth. Beauty and nobility were intimately connected, as only those of high rank would have the leisure and resources to cultivate beauty. However, what Dionysius becomes most infatuated with is Callirhoe’s handsomeness. “He was too preoccupied to sleep. In thought he was in Aphrodite’s shrine, recalling every detail: her face, her hair, the way she looked at him, her voice, her appearance, her words, her very tears inflamed him.” . Thus it can be seen that Dionysius falls in love with Callirhoe because of her beauty without regard for any other virtues. Callirhoe’s beauty also impacts the King of Persia Artaxerxes. While this king is historically represented as the supreme arbiter of justice Callirhoe’s beauty causes even him to falter. Eros even taints the ultimate sign of his masculinity and military prowess, the hunt . While the hunt is supposed to be a time in which Artaxerxes demonstrates his power and wealth, he rather fantasizes about Callirhoe. He imagines “How wonderful it would be to see Callirhoe

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