War and the dissolution of women in Seneca’s Troades
Woodruff, Kathryn Elizabeth
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This thesis examines the titular heroines of Seneca’s Troades with attention to the grotesque nature of their existence and the effects of this on their perceptions of identity and the self. While Hecuba and Andromache waver in the face of wartime horrors and experience the loss of their former identities as a form of disintegration, or dissolution, Polyxena experiences the same atrocities but braves the onslaught of ambiguity life post-Troy brings with it. As a result, while she cannot escape death, she is not undone psychologically by it. The theories of Mikhail Bakhtin and Julia Kristeva, particularly those of the grotesque, existence as dialogue, and abjection, provide the framework for reading this drama and the experiences of the women therein.