Venomous woman: fear of the female in literature

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Greenwood Press, Nov 11, 1987 - Literary Criticism - 168 pages
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This work demonstrates the ways in which a complex of ideas with a misogynistic basis relates to the image of the venomous woman--the woman who uses poisons or potions, who has a relationship with a venomous animal, or who is herself poisonous. Hallissy suggests that the venomous woman is an image of feminine power reflected in masculine fear. The study concentrates on periods when ignorance of the medicinal effects of poisons exaggerated the potency of this image. It examines works of literature which span a large period of time but are linked by this persistent image. Through its examination of the venomous women, it clarifies the function of misogyny as an expression of masculine fear.

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Contents

Archetypes and Stereotypes
1
Mother Eve and Other DeathDealers
15
Healer and Witch
59
Copyright

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About the author (1987)

MARGARET HALLISSY is a Professor of English at Long Island University.

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