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THREE DIFFERENT JOCASTAS BY RACINE, COCTEAU AND CIXOUS

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Date Issued:
2010
Abstract/Description:
This study is about three French plays in which Jocasta, the mother and wife of Oedipus, is shared as a main character: La Thébaïde (The Theban Brothers) by Jean Racine, La Machine Infernale (The Infernal Machine) by Jean Cocteau, and Le Nom dÂÂ'Oedipe (The Name of Oedipus) by Hélène Cixous. Jocasta has always been overshadowed by the tragic destiny of Oedipus since the onset of SophoclesÂÂ' works. Although these three plays commonly focus on describing the character of Jocasta, there are some remarkable differences among them in terms of theme, style, and stage directions. In The Theban Brothers, RacineÂÂ's 17th century play, Jocasta is described as a deathlike mother, while CocteauÂÂ's Jocasta, in The Infernal Machine, is portrayed as an ÂÂ"extravagant, liberal, and hilariousÂÂ" lady. In The Name of Oedipus, Cixous portrays Jocasta as a woman possessing hermaphroditic characteristics, ushering in a new era of resistance to the age-old paternal hierarchy. As for style, RacineÂÂ's neoclassical play shows a strict respect for the three unities of time, space, and action. CocteauÂÂ's avant-garde play neglects all these rules, while Cixous goes even further by destroying the order of languages, as illustrated by her ÂÂ"feminine writing.ÂÂ" Freed from Western orthodoxy, Cixous wants to contribute to the creation of cosmic unity. Her deconstructionist play intends to regenerate the world by establishing a new order and new point of view towards universality. The stage directions of these plays are also an important key to better understanding theatrical evolution. It is through the stage directions, indicated both implicitly and explicitly in these three plays, that enables us to appreciate the theatrical transformation in terms of visualization as well as metaphysics. In sum, the transformation of theme, style, and stage devices in portraying their own Jocastas demonstrates that while these three plays are deconstructional to one another, each denying the existing value and orders of their respective time periods, they are also constructional in that they all attempt to open a new horizon of theatre.
Title: THREE DIFFERENT JOCASTAS BY RACINE, COCTEAU AND CIXOUS.
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Name(s): Joo, Kyung, Author
Listengarten, Julia, Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2010
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This study is about three French plays in which Jocasta, the mother and wife of Oedipus, is shared as a main character: La Thébaïde (The Theban Brothers) by Jean Racine, La Machine Infernale (The Infernal Machine) by Jean Cocteau, and Le Nom dÂÂ'Oedipe (The Name of Oedipus) by Hélène Cixous. Jocasta has always been overshadowed by the tragic destiny of Oedipus since the onset of SophoclesÂÂ' works. Although these three plays commonly focus on describing the character of Jocasta, there are some remarkable differences among them in terms of theme, style, and stage directions. In The Theban Brothers, RacineÂÂ's 17th century play, Jocasta is described as a deathlike mother, while CocteauÂÂ's Jocasta, in The Infernal Machine, is portrayed as an ÂÂ"extravagant, liberal, and hilariousÂÂ" lady. In The Name of Oedipus, Cixous portrays Jocasta as a woman possessing hermaphroditic characteristics, ushering in a new era of resistance to the age-old paternal hierarchy. As for style, RacineÂÂ's neoclassical play shows a strict respect for the three unities of time, space, and action. CocteauÂÂ's avant-garde play neglects all these rules, while Cixous goes even further by destroying the order of languages, as illustrated by her ÂÂ"feminine writing.ÂÂ" Freed from Western orthodoxy, Cixous wants to contribute to the creation of cosmic unity. Her deconstructionist play intends to regenerate the world by establishing a new order and new point of view towards universality. The stage directions of these plays are also an important key to better understanding theatrical evolution. It is through the stage directions, indicated both implicitly and explicitly in these three plays, that enables us to appreciate the theatrical transformation in terms of visualization as well as metaphysics. In sum, the transformation of theme, style, and stage devices in portraying their own Jocastas demonstrates that while these three plays are deconstructional to one another, each denying the existing value and orders of their respective time periods, they are also constructional in that they all attempt to open a new horizon of theatre.
Identifier: CFE0003540 (IID), ucf:48945 (fedora)
Note(s): 2010-12-01
M.A.
Arts and Humanities, Department of Theatre
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Racine
Cocteau
Cixous
neo-classical
surrealist
avant-garde
new theatre
theatrical evolution
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0003540
Restrictions on Access: public
Host Institution: UCF

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