Journal of Romance Studies

Little boys who play with fire get their fingers burnt

Antiquity’s women in Hélia Correia1

Journal of Romance Studies (2019), 19, (3), 415–442.

Abstract

This text draws upon Hélia Correia’s classical trilogy of plays, Perdição: exercício sobre Antígona [‘Perdition: An Exercise on Antigone’], O rancor: exercício sobre Helena [‘Rancour: An Exercise on Helen’], and Desmesura: exercício com Medeia [‘Excess: An Exercise with Medea’], and to a lesser extent upon Montedemo, ‘Fascinação’ [‘Fascination’] and Insânia [‘Madness’], to explore the theme of gender conflict in tales in which power distribution in the canonic plots of Greek antiquity and in narratives of apocalypse is reversed, resulting in the de-heroicizing of male protagonists and the empowerment of female figures, with implications for Portugal’s traditional self-depiction as a nation.

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Works cited

Aeschylus (1985) The Oresteian Trilogy, trans. Philip Vellacott (Harmondsworth: Penguin). Google Scholar

Chodorow, Nancy (1979) The Reproduction of Mothering: Psychoanalysis and the Sociology of Gender (Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press). Google Scholar

Cixous, Hélène (1976) ‘The laugh of the Medusa’, trans. Keith Cohen and Paula Cohen, Signs 1.4: 875–893. Google Scholar

Correia, Hélia (1998) Montedemo (Lisbon: Relógio d’Água). Google Scholar

Correia, Hélia (1999 [1991]) Perdição: exercício sobre Antígona (Lisbon: Dom Quixote). Google Scholar

Correia, Hélia (2000) O rancor: exercício sobre Helena (Lisbon: Relógio d’Água). Google Scholar

Correia, Hélia (2004) Fascinação, seguido de Alexandre Herculano, ‘A dama pé de cabra’ (Lisbon: Relógio d’Água). Google Scholar

Correia, Hélia (2006) Desmesura: exercício com Medeia (Lisbon: Relógio d’Água). Google Scholar

Correia, Hélia (2007) Insânia (Lisbon: Relógio D’Água). Google Scholar

Euripides (1978) Iphigenia in Aulis, trans. W.S. Merwin and George E. Dimock Jr., (New York: Oxford University Press). Google Scholar

Euripides (1989) Medea and Other Plays, trans. Philip Vellacott (Harmondsworth: Penguin). Google Scholar

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Leone, Anne C. (2016) ‘Women, war and wisdom’, in Vertical Readings in Dante’s Comedy, vol. 2, ed. George Corbett and Heather Webb (Cambridge: Open Book Publishers), 151–171. Google Scholar

Manojlović, Tatjana (2008) ‘Personagens da tragédia grega no drama português contemporâneo: demanda da identidade na tríade de Hélia Correia’ Masters diss., Estudos Artísticos, Estudos de Teatro, University of Lisbon. Google Scholar

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Owen, Hilary (2000) ‘Hélia Correia’s Montedemo: The tale of an (un)becoming Virgin’, in Portuguese Women’s Writing: 1972 to 1986: Reincarnations of a Revolution (Lewiston, Queenston, and Lampeter: Edwin Mellen), 57–72. Google Scholar

Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky (1985) Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire (New York: Columbia University Press). Google Scholar

Segal, Naomi (1990) ‘Patrilinear and Matrilinear’, in The Body and the Text: Hélène Cixous, Reading and Teaching, ed. Helen Wilcox, Keith McWatters, Ann Thompson, and Linda Williams (New York and London: Harvester Wheatsheaf), 131–46. Google Scholar

Sousa e Silva, Maria de Fátima (2006a) ‘A ama: um motivo clássico no Rancor de Hélia Correia’, in Furor: ensaios sobre a obra dramática de Hélia Correia, ed. Maria de Fátima Sousa e Silva (Coimbra: Imprensa da Universidade de Coimbra), 115–28. Google Scholar

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Todd, Janet (1999) Women’s Friendship in Literature (New York: Columbia University Press). Google Scholar

Torga, Miguel (1982) ‘Mar’, in Poemas Ibéricos, 2nd ed. (Coimbra: Gráfica de Coimbra), 29–30. Google Scholar

Wahl, Elizabeth Susan (1999) Invisible Relations: Representations of Female Intimacy in the Age of Enlightenment (Stanford: Stanford University Press). Google Scholar

Yeats, W.B. (1990 [1924]) ‘Leda and the Swan’, in Collected Poems (London: Picador), 241. Google Scholar

Aeschylus (1985) The Oresteian Trilogy, trans. Philip Vellacott (Harmondsworth: Penguin). Google Scholar

Chodorow, Nancy (1979) The Reproduction of Mothering: Psychoanalysis and the Sociology of Gender (Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press). Google Scholar

Cixous, Hélène (1976) ‘The laugh of the Medusa’, trans. Keith Cohen and Paula Cohen, Signs 1.4: 875–893. Google Scholar

Correia, Hélia (1998) Montedemo (Lisbon: Relógio d’Água). Google Scholar

Correia, Hélia (1999 [1991]) Perdição: exercício sobre Antígona (Lisbon: Dom Quixote). Google Scholar

Correia, Hélia (2000) O rancor: exercício sobre Helena (Lisbon: Relógio d’Água). Google Scholar

Correia, Hélia (2004) Fascinação, seguido de Alexandre Herculano, ‘A dama pé de cabra’ (Lisbon: Relógio d’Água). Google Scholar

Correia, Hélia (2006) Desmesura: exercício com Medeia (Lisbon: Relógio d’Água). Google Scholar

Correia, Hélia (2007) Insânia (Lisbon: Relógio D’Água). Google Scholar

Euripides (1978) Iphigenia in Aulis, trans. W.S. Merwin and George E. Dimock Jr., (New York: Oxford University Press). Google Scholar

Euripides (1989) Medea and Other Plays, trans. Philip Vellacott (Harmondsworth: Penguin). Google Scholar

Homey, Karen (1993) Feminine Psychology (New York and London: Norton). Google Scholar

Leone, Anne C. (2016) ‘Women, war and wisdom’, in Vertical Readings in Dante’s Comedy, vol. 2, ed. George Corbett and Heather Webb (Cambridge: Open Book Publishers), 151–171. Google Scholar

Manojlović, Tatjana (2008) ‘Personagens da tragédia grega no drama português contemporâneo: demanda da identidade na tríade de Hélia Correia’ Masters diss., Estudos Artísticos, Estudos de Teatro, University of Lisbon. Google Scholar

Martins Coutinho, Anabela (s.d.) Montedemo: o corpo em erupção. http://revistas.ua.pt/index.php/formabreve/article/viewFile/2336/2195 (accessed 10 December 2017). Google Scholar

Owen, Hilary (1996) ‘Fairies and witches in Hélia Correia’, in Women, Literature and Culture in the Portuguese-Speaking World, ed. Cláudia Pazos Alonso and Glória Fernandes (Lewiston, Queenston, and Lampeter: Edwin Mellen), 85–103. Google Scholar

Owen, Hilary (2000) ‘Hélia Correia’s Montedemo: The tale of an (un)becoming Virgin’, in Portuguese Women’s Writing: 1972 to 1986: Reincarnations of a Revolution (Lewiston, Queenston, and Lampeter: Edwin Mellen), 57–72. Google Scholar

Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky (1985) Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire (New York: Columbia University Press). Google Scholar

Segal, Naomi (1990) ‘Patrilinear and Matrilinear’, in The Body and the Text: Hélène Cixous, Reading and Teaching, ed. Helen Wilcox, Keith McWatters, Ann Thompson, and Linda Williams (New York and London: Harvester Wheatsheaf), 131–46. Google Scholar

Sousa e Silva, Maria de Fátima (2006a) ‘A ama: um motivo clássico no Rancor de Hélia Correia’, in Furor: ensaios sobre a obra dramática de Hélia Correia, ed. Maria de Fátima Sousa e Silva (Coimbra: Imprensa da Universidade de Coimbra), 115–28. Google Scholar

Sousa e Silva, Maria de Fátima (2006b) ‘Antígona: o fruto de uma cepa deformada’, in Furor: ensaios sobre a obra dramática de Hélia Correia, ed. Maria de Fátima Sousa e Silva (Coimbra: Imprensa da Universidade de Coimbra), 11–26. Google Scholar

Todd, Janet (1999) Women’s Friendship in Literature (New York: Columbia University Press). Google Scholar

Torga, Miguel (1982) ‘Mar’, in Poemas Ibéricos, 2nd ed. (Coimbra: Gráfica de Coimbra), 29–30. Google Scholar

Wahl, Elizabeth Susan (1999) Invisible Relations: Representations of Female Intimacy in the Age of Enlightenment (Stanford: Stanford University Press). Google Scholar

Yeats, W.B. (1990 [1924]) ‘Leda and the Swan’, in Collected Poems (London: Picador), 241. Google Scholar

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Author details

Lisboa, Maria Manuel