A Feminist Analysis of Gender and Primogeniture in French Neoclassical Tragedy: The Literary Politics Behind the French Revolution (Hardback)

by Sharon Worley

Format: Hardback 312 pages

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This is the first study to account the origins of French feminism to Neoclassical theatre and the court of Louis XIV. Through feminist revisionist histories of French literature, the Neoclassical plots and female archetypes from Racine's "Phedre" and "Andromache", Voltaire's "Brutus" (Catherine Bernard), and Marmontel's "Belisarius" (Stephanie Genlis) were transposed by women writers and patrons onto actresses and the queens, empresses, and mistresses of the French ruling dynasties from Louis XIV- to Napoleon at a time when women were denied the rights of citizenship. This study argues that contemporary French feminism is a function of historicism that defines female identity through parallel constructs between regency and theatre, Neoclassicism and modernity, authors of an emerging body of French feminist writings ineluctably reconcile sadist and pacifist incongruities between gendered roles in tragedy.

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Edwin Mellen Press Ltd


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