Classical Myths on the Victorian Popular Stage: the Figure of Cassandra
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Classical Myths on the Victorian Popular Stage: the Figure of Cassandra

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Classical Myths on the Victorian Popular Stage: the Figure of Cassandra

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dc.contributor.advisor Teruel Pozas, Miguel es_ES
dc.contributor.advisor Morenilla Talens, Carmen es_ES
dc.contributor.author Monrós Gaspar, Laura es_ES
dc.contributor.other Universitat de València. Departament de Filologia Anglesa i Alemanya es_ES
dc.date.accessioned 2012-04-02T15:41:26Z
dc.date.available 2012-04-02T15:41:26Z
dc.date.issued 2009 es_ES
dc.date.submitted 2009-09-07 es_ES
dc.identifier.isbn 9788437077192 es_ES
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10803/31808 es_ES
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10550/23314
dc.description.abstract The scope of the present thesis is to unveil the cultural processes behind the reception of the Cassandra myth in Victorian burlesque theatre. The main focus is on the semiotic dialogue between arts and reality which features nineteenth-century popular theatre as an essential tool for reading the social history of Victorian England. My principal argument is that the analysis of the convergence of popular, iconic and literary refigurations of classical myths and their representation on the Victorian popular stage underscores the relevance of burlesque both as a reflecting and a refracting mirror of the contemporary mindset. The texts and cultural objects under analysis in this thesis are in many ways embodiments of the ambivalence surrounding constructions of women both as social subjects and artistic objects in Victorian Britain. As I shall espouse, mixed attitudes towards women in burlesque reflected, as witness and chronicle of its own time, the social turmoil which was involved in the remapping of the role of women in modern societies. This thesis is structured into three chapters which cover at length the different aspects considered for my analysis. After an introductory section on methodology and critical antecedents, the chapter ‘Classical Mythology and the Evolution of Burlesque’ focuses on the terminological issues surrounding the comic theatre of the nineteenth century. Responses to the meaning and nature of Victorian burlesque are multifarious both in the nineteenth, the twentieth and the present century. As I shall argue, only a holistic consideration of the genre allows for the recognition of the role of burlesque as precedent of mass communication in the formation of modern cultures. The chapter proceeds with an analysis of the history of Victorian classical burlesque focused on particular works which evidence the topicality and ambivalence of the genre. The second chapter, entitled ‘Women and Cassandra in the Nineteenth Century’, analyses Victorian refigurations of the Cassandra myth in a two-fold approach. First, I focus on nineteenth-century translations of Aeschylus’ Agamemnon and Homer’s Iliad to map out the linguistic choices which juxtapose Cassandra with contemporary popular stereotypes such as prophets, witches and fortune-tellers. Second, I consider the ideological development underlying Victorian reworkings of the Cassandra myth both in highbrow and popular culture highlighting aspects such as the relationship between women and knowledge. A cross-class and crosscultural analysis of Victorian revisitings to the Cassandra myth evidences the profoundly intertwined dialogue between the socio-cultural substrata of the receiving culture and the Greek prototypes. Less canonical refigurations pave the ground to a responsive Cassandra who defies the ruling powers foreshadowing the collection of political female voices of the late years of the century. The third chapter delineates the presence of Cassandra in Victorian burlesque from its eighteenth-century precedents on the British street-theatre and the French stage. Once the literary antecedents of the burlesque Cassandra are established, the chapter moves on to the analysis of the case study of Robert Reece’s Agamemnon and Cassandra; or, the Prophet and Loss of Troy (1868). Reece’s burlesque is contextualized within the dramatic production of the author and then examined under the lens of the ambivalence of burlesque. The evolution of the depiction of Cassandra in the comic stage from Settle to Reece manifests the mixed responses to the gradual integration of women into the cultural structures of modern societies. The conclusions of the present thesis elaborate upon the metaphors of Cassandra which explain and account for the ambivalent representations of women in Victorian burlesque. Burlesque refigurations of the Cassandra myth epitomize the double standards which mould, measure and value the role of women in Victorian arts and culture. The recurring iteration of the motifs and images encompassed in the Cassandra metaphors of the Victorian woman evidence the need to unveil the ongoing dialogue between present and past civilizations in order to apprehend the cultural processes which have shaped modern societies. es_ES
dc.description.abstract El propósito de la presente tesis es desvelar los procesos culturales tras la recepción del mito de Casandra en el teatro burlesco victoriano, prestando especial atención al diálogo semiótico entre la realidad y las artes que destaca el teatro popular del siglo diecinueve como una herramienta esencial para la compresión de la historia social de la Inglaterra victoriana. El análisis de la convergencia de reescrituras literarias, populares e icónicas de la mitología clásica en el teatro popular victoriano pone de manifiesto la importancia del burlesco como espejo reflectante y refractante del pensamiento de la época. Los autores y textos discutidos a lo largo de la tesis evidencian la comunión entre efectos espectaculares y referencias a la actualidad del momento para atraer al público, lo que influirá en la adopción de tópicos estéticos y sociales para perpetuar o cuestionar codificaciones sociales. Los textos y objetos culturales analizados en esta investigación encarnan la ambivalencia que rodea a la construcción de la mujer como sujeto social y objeto artístico en la Inglaterra victoriana. Actitudes enfrentadas sobre la mujer en el teatro burlesco reflejan, como testigo y crónica de su época, la agitación social que envolvía la reestructuración del rol de la mujer en los fundamentos de las sociedades modernas. Las conclusiones de la tesis elaboran metáforas de Casandra que explican y describen representaciones enfrentadas de la mujer en el teatro burlesco victoriano. Las recreaciones burlescas del mito de Casandra epitomizan la duplicidad que modela, mesura y valora el rol de la mujer en la cultura y el arte del siglo diecinueve. Dicotomías como la petrificación y la emancipación de la mujer se dan cita en metáforas relacionadas con la silenciación y la recuperación de la voz de la princesa troyana en las estructuras sociales imperantes. La iteración recurrente de motivos e imágenes que engloban las metáforas de Casandra sobre la mujer victoriana manifiestan la necesidad de desvelar el constante diálogo entre las civilizaciones del pasado y del presente para aprehender los procesos culturales que han dado forma al individuo contemporáneo. es_ES
dc.format.extent 356 p. es_ES
dc.language eng es_ES
dc.subject Qüestions generals de la lingüística i la literatura. Filologia es_ES
dc.title Classical Myths on the Victorian Popular Stage: the Figure of Cassandra es_ES
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/doctoralThesis es_ES
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion es_ES

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