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Frontiers in Art Research, 2021, 3(4); doi: 10.25236/FAR.2021.030408.

Analyzing the tragic image in Penelope


Gao Zhuoya

Corresponding Author:
Gao Zhuoya

University of South China, Hengyang Hunan, 420000, China


The Penelopiad is a groundbreaking adaptation of the classic Homer’s epic Odyssey by the Canadian literary queen Atwood. It has become a classic of the "restatement myth" series. Since its inception, it has been praised by researchers both ideologically and artistically. This article uses Rene Girard's scapegoat mechanism and persecution text theory to interpret Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad from a new perspective. Although the female characters Penelopiad and the twelve maids in the novel encountered different things, they could not avoid the fate of scapegoats. The entire novel all conveys the author's profound intentions. It not only criticizes the cruel oppression of women in the patriarchal society, but also condemns the class violence suffered by the people at the bottom. The characters in the author's writing use the voice of “the other" to complain from the female perspective of the victimization of the weak "scapegoat" in the patriarchal society background sacrificing others in exchange for the normal social order and the maintenance of the right of the aristocratic class, which also reflects the oppression of the aristocratic class to the people at the bottom. 


scapegoat; stereotypes of persecution; oppress

Cite This Paper

Gao Zhuoya. Analyzing the tragic image in Penelope. Frontiers in Art Research (2021) Vol. 3, Issue 4: 38-43. https://doi.org/10.25236/FAR.2021.030408.


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