CCANESA / Classics and Ancient History seminar: “All About Andromache: A Trojan Woman in the Age of Sensibility”
Miranda Stanyon | University of Melbourne
All About Andromache: A Trojan Woman in the Age of Sensibility
Classics and Ancient History/CCANESA Online Seminar
For eighteenth-century audiences, Andromache was a paragon of womanhood and woman of many parts: ‘a tender Mother, an affectionate Wife, and a Widow full of Veneration for the Memory of her deceased Husband’, in the words of playwright Ambrose Philips. Philips’s early eighteenth-century adaptation of Racine’s neoclassical Andromaque,The Distres’t Mother, became a classic of the English stage and a showpiece for a number of British actresses into the nineteenth century. The play is just one example of the rich presences of this figure in the period, when Andromache—hardly a household name today—was a popular figure, and indeed a figure of popular culture. This paper forms part of a larger project exploring the rise and fall of Andromache in the long eighteenth century, the culture of sensibility within which Andromache flourished, and the strains which her receptions placed on that culture. Classicists sometimes identify Andromache as a figure who offers resistance to the foreward march of epic and its masculine logic of progress: for all her performance of patriarchal virtues, might the Andromaches of the age of sensibility offer analogous points of resistance?
28 October, 4:00pm
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The Department of Classics and Ancient History is part of the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry (SOPHI).