Suicide justified: Corneille's Sophonisbe

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Although Corneille typically lets his heroes survive, distributing suicides amongst problematic secondary characters with little respect for his sources, the noble, historical death of the Carthaginian queen in Sophonisbe (1663) poses ethical, emotional and dramatic problems for Corneille as both dramatist and theoretician. This article reads Corneille’s play alongside various intertexts: his own works, Livy’s history, d’Aubignac’s critical dissertation and Mairet’s original Sophonisbe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-72
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Drama and Performance Studies (EDPS)
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Corneille
  • suicide
  • death
  • tragedy
  • Sophonisbe
  • Sophonisba

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