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…