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Type: Journal article
Title: Rape, revenge and resurrection in Correr's Progne
Author: Clarke, J.
Citation: International Journal of the Classical Tradition, 2020; 27(1):23-39
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
Issue Date: 2020
ISSN: 1073-0508
Statement of
Jacqueline Clarke
Abstract: When Gregorio Correr selected the myth of Procne and Philomela for his c. 1427 adaptation of Seneca’s Thyestes, he was altering what is sometimes termed ‘a tragedy with no women’ into one which largely focuses on female protagonists. Yet he chose to omit the scene where Philomela (or Philomena) weaves a tapestry depicting her rape and mutilation by her sister’s husband Tereus. This scene, which is a key feature of Ovid’s Metamorphoses and also appears in all other medieval and Renaissance adaptations of the myth, has been interpreted by scholars as Philomena’s successful attempt to find an alternative voice for her outrage after Tereus has cut out her tongue. This paper addresses the implications of Correr’s omission of this important feature of the myth, analysing its effect on the portrayal of Philomena and the dynamics of her relationship with her avenger Procne. It shows how the agency in this relationship is shifted almost entirely to Procne and how Philomena is transformed into a type of ghost who is brought back by her sister’s rage and dreadful act of retribution on her husband. Within this analysis attention will be given to the Christian elements of Correr’s reception of the myth, in particular the motif of resurrection which permeates the play and the final scene which culminates in a distortion of the rites of the eucharist.
Description: Published online: 24 May 2018
Rights: © Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018
RMID: 0030089189
DOI: 10.1007/s12138-018-0474-x
Grant ID:
Appears in Collections:Classics publications

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