8lecture1780pygmalion09SU - Lecture 8 Dr E Clements 1...

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Lecture 8 Dr. E. Clements 1 School of Arts and Letters, Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies Summer 2009 AK/HUMA 1780 6.0A Stories in Diverse Media Announcements: ± Discussion Rooms are up and running so please do post your comments and replies to the questions in the lectures and on the PowerPoint slides. The earlier technical problems have been resolved, to my understanding. See the Discussion Protocol and Tips sheet for more information on how to start a discussion thread or fulfill the requirements for this component of the course. ± Please note that you can respond to the answers of your fellow classmates by clicking the New Response tab from within their post. I encourage you to do so. The more interaction, the better quality of your discussion. ± I have also posted information on the midterm exam format in the Exam Information folder. Transformation or Limitation? The Stories of Pygmalion and Galatea I have mentioned to you that the character of Salome and the notion of the femme fatale are portrayals of women that have been replayed over and over again. You have looked at paintings by Moreau that were created before Wilde's play and Beardsley's illustrations after the play. I also argued that this fatal woman is alive and well today and so you watched the end of Fatal Attraction as just one contemporary example. As many of you will discuss in your groups, there are many more current representations of this female figure. In the 50s the fatal woman became quite popular in film noir . A version with which you might be more familiar would be a more recent send-up: Jessica Rabbit—
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Lecture 8 Dr. E. Clements 2 the woman who makes the unwitting male detective or dupe (rabbit in this case) go thump, thump. One thing you need to notice in each case is that the femme fatale is always sexual, always the epitome of desire, and always on display. As we also noted last day, this figure seems powerful, to a certain extent. Alex, you will remember, is a 1980s working woman. But it is not a coincidence that these powerful women (Salome would be another example as she is a royal princess) end up as puddles on the floor by the end of the narrative. The femme fatale stereotype typically depicts strong women as evil and/or crazy. Thus, links between female power and madness/manipulation are repeated every time the stereotype is. Ultimately, to say the least, this does not leave a positive impression on the viewer concerning women and power. This negative stereotype, in the end, suggests that women do not know how to handle being in a position of authority in a positive way and provides the apparent solution that the only answer to the problem is to rid society of this seemingly destructive force—hence, Herod's final command in Strauss's opera: "Man töte dieses Weib!" ["Kill that woman!"] So today we are looking at a different set of characters whose types have endured just as long as Odysseus and Penelope, or Salome and the femme fatale
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This note was uploaded on 04/11/2010 for the course HUMA 1780 taught by Professor Eliciaclements during the Summer '09 term at York University.

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8lecture1780pygmalion09SU - Lecture 8 Dr E Clements 1...

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