How does de Staël’s drama Sapho (1811) renew the dilemma of the woman writer? Borrowing models from Ovid and drawing on eighteenth-century representations of Saphho, de Staël’s pay offers a tragic allegory of feminine suffering, but also a rejection of the established order and the violence that it enacts on ardent souls. Therefore, like Saphho herself, the play carries out an autopsy of pain, maintaining its potent analysis until the very end.
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