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Tennyson’s “Princess”. Tennyson’s “Princess” http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/atennyson/bl-aten-princess.htm. Alfred Tennyson, 6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892). Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Princess Ida” (1884).

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tennyson s princess
Tennyson’s “Princess”

Tennyson’s “Princess” http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/atennyson/bl-aten-princess.htm

Alfred Tennyson,

6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892)


Our statues! —not of those that men desire,Sleek Odalisques, or oracles of mode,Nor stunted squaws of West or East; but sheThat taught the Sabine how to rule, and sheThe foundress of the Babylonian wall,The Carian Artemisia strong in war,The Rhodope, that built the pyramid,Clelia, Cornelia, with the PalmyreneThat fought Aurelian, and the Roman browsOf Agrippina. Dwell with these, and loseConvention, since to look on noble formsMakes noble thro’ the sensuous organismThat which is higher.

Thereupon she tookA bird's-eye-view of all the ungracious past;Glanced at the legendary AmazonAs emblematic of a nobler age;Appraised the Lycian custom, spoke of thoseThat lay at wine with Lar and Lucumo;Ran down the Persian, Grecian, Roman linesOf empire, and the woman's state in each,How far from just;

Ingres .Grande Odalisque

Louvre, Paris 1814


Johann Jakob Bachofen (1815 – 1887)

charter myths
Charter Myths

belief-systems set up to authorize and validate current social customs and institutions.

Bronsilaw Malinowski


Selected Bibliography:


war and gender
War and Gender



internalist theories myths as products of the mind
Internalist Theories: Myths as Products of the Mind

Individual Mind

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)

Laistner (1889) All monsters of myth originated in nightmares.

Roheim (1952) disguised version of the Oedipus complex

Collective Mind

Carl Jung (1875-1961)

feminist approaches to myth
Feminist Approaches to Myth

Marija Gimbutas (1921-1994)

Marija Gimbutas was an archaeologist with a scholarly background in folklore and linguistics, making her uniquely qualified to synthesize information from science and myth into a controversial theory of a Goddess-based culture in prehistoric Europe. Joseph Campbell said that, if her work had been available to him, he would have held very different views about the archetypes of the female Divine in world mythology.

Primacy of Matriarchy

lefkowitz study questions
Lefkowitz Study Questions

1. Who is Princess Ida and what is her relationship to Amazons?

2. What does Lefkowitz think is the purpose of myth?

3. What does Lefkowitz mean when she says that “every feature of Amazonian society has a direct antithesis in ordinary Greek practice”?

4. Does Lefkowitz think that Aeschylus’ Eumenides can be used to claim that the discovery of paternity was a key factor in the shift from matriarch to patriarchy? Why or why not?

5. Does Lefkowitz think that the myths of Amazons and other wild destructive women can be used as examples of the psychological conflict imposed by the customary segregation of the sexes in Athenian society and men’s apprehensions about female sexuality? Why or why not?