Pub. Date:
Cambridge University Press
The Transvestite Achilles: Gender and Genre in Statius' Achilleid

The Transvestite Achilles: Gender and Genre in Statius' Achilleid

by P. J. HeslinP. J. Heslin


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As we follow Achilles' metamorphosis from wild boy to demure girl to lover to hero, Statius brilliantly illustrates a series of contrasting codes of behavior: male and female, epic and elegiac. This first full-length study of the poem addresses not only the narrative itself, but also sets the myth of Achilles on Scyros within a broad interpretive framework. The exploration ranges from the reception of the Achilleid in Baroque opera to the anthropological parallels that have emerged to explain Achilles' transvestism.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521851459
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 08/31/2005
Pages: 349
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

P. J. Heslin is a lecturer in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Durham.

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Opening nights at the opera 1641–1741; 2. The design of the Achilleid; 3. Womanhood, rhetoric, and performance; 4. Semivir, Semifer, Semideus; 5. Transvestism in myth and ritual; 6. Rape, repetition, and romance; 7. Conclusion.

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