Women in Literary Tradition: How Female Representation in Literature Reflects Societal Values

Date

2024

Authors

Sauceda, Mallorie

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Worldwide access

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Abstract

Humanity has been connected across centuries through the expression and preservation of literary traditions and figures as a means of communicating societal values. As time passes and societies change, so do their traditions and values; yet, while the details of the established literary traditions change, the subjects remain the same. This thesis will examine works from Roman Society, the Middle Ages, and the Contemporary Period, respectively, and discuss various authors such as Ovid, Chaucer, and Margaret Atwood. The works of these popular authors and others included in this thesis are all connected by their focus on and representation of these famous Greek women: Penelope, Sappho, Helen, Briseis, Medea, and Ariadne. Through the lens of Feminist Literary Criticism, this thesis examines how mythological and historical figures have been represented in literature across chronological periods and literary formats in response to popular societal expectations for women.

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Keywords

Heroides., Ovid., Penelope., Sappho., Helen., Briseis., Ariadne., Medea., Giovanni Boccaccio., Geoffrey Chaucer., Greek Mythology., Mythological Retellings.

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