The Art of Seduction…

I hope 2016 is progressing decently for everyone in Armitageworld…  Personally,  I have decided that in 2016, we will be postponing Christmas until after Christmas.  Honestly – the holiday season was just this side of grueling.  On the plus side though – my iPad has been emancipated from MiniMe’s clutches since Santa delivered her new Chromebook.   Hurray – I can watch Netflix in peace again!

With all of my current TV streams on winter hiatus, I returned to an old haunt – Robin Hood, and was struck again by how effectively Richard Armitage (as Guy of Gisborne) can deploy full scale seduction.  I just finished Season 1, and am again left wondering how Marian resisted a couple of those seductive salvos.  For me, the most effective persuasive instrument that Sir Guy utilizes is his voice.

Don’t get me wrong…the physical package is plenty potent, overwhelmingly so in some instances.  In combination with an almost groaned syllable or a throaty whisper?

 *Boom*  

Robin Hood  S1 E11 Source

Robin Hood S1 E11
Source

Here, having declared himself to her, Sir Guy presses his suit…his voice becoming deeper, but softer

“I want to know you.”

Before groaning,

“Marian!”

and then a barely audible,

“be with me!”

*Ahem*

For all that Sir Guy, especially under the influence of the Sheriff, is often brutal, and perhaps even dishonorable, Richard Armitage brings a seductive force to him that is impossible to overlook.  Even the unyielding Marian seems to be wavering in the last few episodes of Season 1.

Robin Hood S1 E13 Source

Robin Hood S1 E13
Source

A breathy

“Stay!” 

after another declaration of passion and a brief kiss hit me straight in the feels

maybe it affected Marian similarly and she fled for self preservation…

In his pursuit of Lady Marian, Richard Armitage’s Sir Guy seems to be compellingly channeling more than a bit of Πειθώ.  Peitho, the personification of persuasion and seduction, is a rather shadowy figure in the Greek Pantheon.  Although she also appears as a rhetorical concept, in myth, Peitho is most commonly understood as one of the daughters and frequent companions of the goddess Aphrodite.

In this marble frieze, Peitho, seated a top a column, directs the discourse between Aphrodite and Helen, seated beneath her, and Eros and Paris.  The seduction of Helen, she who launched a thousand ships, by the Trojan prince Paris is one of the “great” love stories in classical myth.  (if one discounts that it was all set in motion by a sneaky goddess to win a bet with two other goddesses and resulted in a brutal war that lasted 10 years) 

Seduction/persuasion are rather interesting concepts in ancient Greek.  That is, there is a VERY fine line between seduction and rape in most literary accounts.  In fact, in many cases, the words are used interchangably in a context where women had almost no power to object in any meaningful way.  Equally interesting is how Peitho, seduction personified, is depicted in myth.

#seductionfail Source

#seductionfail
Source

When the allure of seduction fails and gives way to force, as in the above scene, Peitho is typically depicted as fleeing the scene…that is, at least to some degree, the Greeks recognized the difference between enticement and overt force.  So too did Sir Guy…for the most part.  In both of the scenes above, Marian rebuffs Guy’s tempting advances, and in each instance, Guy resists the urge to force her.  He is definitely trying to win her over, he is frequently coercive, but he stops short of force.  It seems that Peitho is still hanging around.  For now…

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24 comments on “The Art of Seduction…

  1. zan, O1C says:

    Sir Guy was my gateway drug that led to this RAddiction. 😉 That voice. Those eyes. That face. The way he *owns* the black leather. 😊 How Marian kept her wits about her when he spoke to her was beyond me, especially in S2E11 when he asked her to stay. (A kiss on the cheek? Dang, woman, what is wrong with you?)

    Darn it, now I have to go rewatch the whole series.

    Again.

    😉

  2. I’ve had my first ever ground-covering of snow, so my 2016 is off to an enchanting start!

    Some seductive Sir Guy would certainly not be an unwelcome addition to the enchantment. 😉

  3. North & South (Thornton) was my introduction to Richard. This was immediately followed up with combing YouTube for the goods. Naturally a great deal of Sir Guy came up, so I immediately followed up with Robin Hood. I could not believe the radical difference in characters. And I was mortified to find that I could not bring myself to be the least bit disgusted by Sir Guy and found him to be sexiest I have ever seen on television. I can only credit Richard as an actor so clever as to craft such a dichotomy of attraction and repulsion. (even though Richard denies wanting Sir Guy to be received as anything other than repulsive.)

    The art of seduction eludes some of us *raises hand* so when I see it done so beautifully I am both in awe and scared of it. In real life, I don’t want that and find it incredibly frightening to think that some one could be so talented as to manipulate me in such a way. So on the receiving end, that fine line is defined by a level a fear. That can be exciting. And it is such a nice fantasy. Richard taps into that very well as an actor. None of us would care to entertain that he would ever cross such a line in real life, and clearly he wouldn’t want us to think it. The seduce-me-and-take-me-but-dont-TAKE-me “rape” fantasy always has those caveats that control the situation and the fantasy lover would know all of them by heart. Imagine being given the opportunity to be paid to act like you might be such a lover? A tricky and demanding challenge indeed.

    • obscura says:

      It is definitely a fine line…I think it speaks to RA’s commitment to this character that he’s able to keep Sir Guy teeter on that line, not quite honorable, but not a lost cause…even after the S2 finale!

      • I agree. It is present with the episode involving Meg (Holliday Grainger) as well. When it came to the innocence in that kiss there I think that was largely due to the fact that, as an actor and person, he knew her as a child and could not comfortably cross any line involving more. That is a very difficult professional tightrope to walk, especially if the director had wanted anything more salacious.

  4. Rafaella says:

    Ah Sir Guy! I think there is another re-watch of Robin Hood S1, 2 & 3 coming up (especially with all the tennis and cricket and non-ratings season).

    On the Greek Mythology side, I can’t specifically remember Peitho by name. I guess I will need a lot more remedial revision before September.

    • obscura says:

      It’s a bit of a guilty pleasure 😇

      Not to worry about Peitho…I didn’t really recall her either. She is similar to “goddesses” like Tyche and Metis…personification of abstract concepts. Much easier to depict personified seduction than to try and convey it in art 🙂

  5. linnetmoss says:

    Mr. Armitage is definitely gifted with a talent for Persuasion 🙂 I hope he has another chance to play a seductive villain!

  6. Guylty says:

    From the very first time I saw Sir Guy in action, I have been seduced by him – almost against better judgment because the fact remains that he is the henchman of the evil sheriff. That should put me off – but it never did. I don’t think it was only because of the leather peaches. And now you have given the reason a name – Peitho. Yes, Guy is seductive. But I never find him manipulative towards Marian. He wears his heart on his sleeve when it comes to her. Maybe that’s what makes me want to ignore his otherwise dishonourable deeds?

    • obscura says:

      His intentions are certainly clear…it’s almost painful to hear him declare himself so earnestly knowing that she’s often ridiculing his affection. That said, he’s not above holding the danger of the sheriff over her head to ensure their engagement. Perhaps the seduction was a means to show her what marriage to him could bring beyond wealth and status.

  7. Esther says:

    I never really enjoyed this Robin Hood series but yeah, Richard in seduction mode was a sight to behold. I don’t know how Marian was able to resist him at all… If I had been that actress, I’d have been wobbly in the knees for days afterwards after being held by him…

  8. Sir Guy was an acquired taste for me–Thornton came first, last, and alwasy. But once I was hooked on Sir Guy, I was hooked! Sighhhh! As always, thanks for the lovely analysis! Cheers!

  9. Perry says:

    Guy is a sexy, hot favorite of mine. I did an early Part 1 of a post about him in which I noticed a less veiled hint of rape, (S1.Ep7 Brothers in Arms – the one about the necklace; the same one you mentioned), when the Sheriff tells Guy, after Guy thinks Marian betrayed them, “You’re hurt. How does the old knife feel? Twisting in your back? All the time you thought she was smiling at you she was laughing at you – despising you- humiliating you. What do you want to do to her now? Hmm? GO- and ENJOY IT.” Though Guy could enjoy some masochism, I think the sheriff meant something else. Of course, in the end, Guy got the marriage promise. Forcing Marian also comes up again in the finale of Season 2, when Guy tells the Sheriff he’s going to marry Marian by force if he has to.
    I agree with you that some of Guy’s humiliation is difficult to watch. Love watching Robin Hood.

    • obscura says:

      I tend to think that even the show’s writers were surprised at the level of complexity that Armitage developed for Guy. I get the impression that he was intitially set to be something of a one trick bad pony 🙂

      • Servetus says:

        A fellow fan of ours who’s more or less departed the scene had the theory that one of the writers sort of “fell in love” with Armitage after seeing the first season — and thus significantly expanded his presence in various storylines. According to her, after the second season, they realized that people were not really watching for the “heroes” and that was the rationale for the craziness of season three. (anyway, just her theory)

        Loved learning about Peitho — this was a story I did not know.

  10. Hariclea says:

    How did i miss this? I think i was just getting back from Xmas, oh well never to late for Guy and a bit of Peitho 🙂 I didn’t know about her, nice to learn something new!
    I love Guy, the series was hilarious and sometimes just made me groan how bad it was but at the same time he was so good. It took me a while to fall because he really is so bad but then who could resist him when he showed his heart/ or pride? 😉 There is loads to be said about Guy and much of him to enjoy 🙂 He’ll always be one of my favourites and probably the long time favourite /constant.

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