Vileness and Violence : The Cornelian Corpse. / Harris, Joseph.

In: Early Modern French Studies , Vol. 39, No. 2, 2017, p. 144-156 .

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Vileness and Violence : The Cornelian Corpse. / Harris, Joseph.

In: Early Modern French Studies , Vol. 39, No. 2, 2017, p. 144-156 .

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Harvard

Harris, J 2017, 'Vileness and Violence: The Cornelian Corpse', Early Modern French Studies , vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 144-156 . https://doi.org/10.1080/20563035.2017.1380566

APA

Vancouver

Author

Harris, Joseph. / Vileness and Violence : The Cornelian Corpse. In: Early Modern French Studies . 2017 ; Vol. 39, No. 2. pp. 144-156 .

BibTeX

@article{b8f264c61bcc4ac799fec067432ce773,
title = "Vileness and Violence: The Cornelian Corpse",
abstract = "Although the title hero never sets foot onstage during the play, Corneille{\textquoteright}s tragedy La Mort de Pomp{\'e}e (1643) offers one of the author{\textquoteright}s most extensive and gruesome engagements with the corporeality of death. Having been led into a trap set by the cowardly Egyptian king Ptolom{\'e}e, the Roman military hero Pomp{\'e}e is cruelly assassinated early in the play; his dead body is then decapitated, and then dumped into the sea, while his head is triumphantly presented to his horrified military rival C{\'e}sar. Although, as I demonstrate, a vocabulary of vileness recurs throughout the play in words such as {\textquoteleft}vil{\textquoteright}, {\textquoteleft}bas{\textquoteright}, and {\textquoteleft}abject{\textquoteright}, it is not — as we might expect — Pomp{\'e}e{\textquoteright}s mutilated corpse that is depicted in such terms. Paradoxically, the body itself retains a certain moral (if not physical) integrity; both Pomp{\'e}e{\textquoteright}s head and trunk serve as touchstones for the nobility or villainy of those who encounter them. For the nobler characters, Pomp{\'e}e{\textquoteright}s corpse evokes the grandeur of his heroic past. Conversely, the stain of vileness and villainy is displaced from the corpse itself onto Pomp{\'e}e{\textquoteright}s cruel assassins and the craven king who authorized the murder — those who prove too base to recognize the true horror of their deeds.",
author = "Joseph Harris",
year = "2017",
doi = "10.1080/20563035.2017.1380566",
language = "English",
volume = "39",
pages = "144--156 ",
journal = "Early Modern French Studies ",
issn = "2056-3035",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "2",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Vileness and Violence

T2 - The Cornelian Corpse

AU - Harris, Joseph

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - Although the title hero never sets foot onstage during the play, Corneille’s tragedy La Mort de Pompée (1643) offers one of the author’s most extensive and gruesome engagements with the corporeality of death. Having been led into a trap set by the cowardly Egyptian king Ptolomée, the Roman military hero Pompée is cruelly assassinated early in the play; his dead body is then decapitated, and then dumped into the sea, while his head is triumphantly presented to his horrified military rival César. Although, as I demonstrate, a vocabulary of vileness recurs throughout the play in words such as ‘vil’, ‘bas’, and ‘abject’, it is not — as we might expect — Pompée’s mutilated corpse that is depicted in such terms. Paradoxically, the body itself retains a certain moral (if not physical) integrity; both Pompée’s head and trunk serve as touchstones for the nobility or villainy of those who encounter them. For the nobler characters, Pompée’s corpse evokes the grandeur of his heroic past. Conversely, the stain of vileness and villainy is displaced from the corpse itself onto Pompée’s cruel assassins and the craven king who authorized the murder — those who prove too base to recognize the true horror of their deeds.

AB - Although the title hero never sets foot onstage during the play, Corneille’s tragedy La Mort de Pompée (1643) offers one of the author’s most extensive and gruesome engagements with the corporeality of death. Having been led into a trap set by the cowardly Egyptian king Ptolomée, the Roman military hero Pompée is cruelly assassinated early in the play; his dead body is then decapitated, and then dumped into the sea, while his head is triumphantly presented to his horrified military rival César. Although, as I demonstrate, a vocabulary of vileness recurs throughout the play in words such as ‘vil’, ‘bas’, and ‘abject’, it is not — as we might expect — Pompée’s mutilated corpse that is depicted in such terms. Paradoxically, the body itself retains a certain moral (if not physical) integrity; both Pompée’s head and trunk serve as touchstones for the nobility or villainy of those who encounter them. For the nobler characters, Pompée’s corpse evokes the grandeur of his heroic past. Conversely, the stain of vileness and villainy is displaced from the corpse itself onto Pompée’s cruel assassins and the craven king who authorized the murder — those who prove too base to recognize the true horror of their deeds.

U2 - 10.1080/20563035.2017.1380566

DO - 10.1080/20563035.2017.1380566

M3 - Article

VL - 39

SP - 144

EP - 156

JO - Early Modern French Studies

JF - Early Modern French Studies

SN - 2056-3035

IS - 2

ER -