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“Une femme peut bien s’armer de hardiesse” : la tragédie française et le féminin entre 1537 et 1583

Abstract : From a study of a corpus of French plays written 1537-1583, this dissertation examines in detail the female presence in tragedy and its role in the development of the aesthetics of tragic drama. The place of the feminine and the issues arising from it are analyzed on three different levels. First, the theoretical and paratextual works that define tragedy were studied. In this corpus of work, no explicit association between the tragic and the feminine is found. However, the feminine is defined throughout in a problematic way, between the necessity to conform to the norm (the decorum) and the evidence of departures from this norm (Electra will amaze because of her virility). Secondly, within the plays themselves, there are many speeches made by the characters pertaining to the question of femininity. Frequently, the common norms are referenced in order to better differentiate between the heroine and ordinary women; on occasion, the case of the heroine herself is used to contest more strongly the common norms. Finally, the action of the women in the tragic dramas is compared to that of the men. This entails the study of the roles of females in the plot, of the style of acting and performance required of them, of their moral and ideological effect on the audience, all of which allows for a redefinition of female heroism in the corpus. Given that tragic drama is constructed, in this author’s view, from the quest for extraordinary action, these heroines, all the more admirable precisely because they belong to the weaker sex, would primarily appear to be highly favorable for the successful revival of French classical tragedy, thus conferring upon it its first characteristics.
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Nina Hugot. “Une femme peut bien s’armer de hardiesse” : la tragédie française et le féminin entre 1537 et 1583. Littératures. Sorbonne Université; Université de Bâle, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018SORUL154⟩. ⟨tel-02922992⟩



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