Incest in Victorian Literature Criticism: Plays - Essay

Criticism: Plays

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “The Incest Motif in Shelley's The Cenci,” in Comparative Drama, Vol. 19, No. 3, Fall, 1985, pp. 222-39.

[In the following essay, Groseclose contends that the rape/incest between Beatrice and Count Cenci is the event that controls the The Cenci structurally and histrionically. Groseclose also feels that the incestuous act is Shelley's way of symbolically denouncing the destructiveness of tyranny, and proposing violent insurrection as a means to eliminating it.]

Mary Shelley admired her husband's 1819 play, The Cenci, because it was, she felt, the most direct of his works.1 The author himself, apparently both pleased and...

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