TITLE

The Missing Wives ofLeviathan

AUTHOR(S)
Shaffer, Gina Victoria
PUB. DATE
April 2004
SOURCE
Seventeenth Century;Spring2004, Vol. 19 Issue 1, p53
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
In the course of presenting his theory of contractual relations between subject and sovereign inLeviathan, Thomas Hobbes constructs an artificial family as a hierarchical model. However, he omits wives from the theoretical family that he compares to a‘little Monarchy’. In doing so, Hobbes disrupts the commonplace seventeenth-century family/state analogy, which establishes a parallel between the domestic authority of fathers/husbands and the sovereign power of the monarch. While other theorists of the period unequivocally placed women in subordinate roles, Hobbes grants women a high degree of agency, particularly in their role as mothers. Given this depiction of female agency, the omission of wives inLeviathanreflects his inability to find a stable position for them in his political theory.
ACCESSION #
15026791

 

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