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Title: Ukroćena kraljica. Nacija i rodne uloge u Demetrevoj Teuti
Authors: Badurina, Natka
Issue Date: May-2004
Publisher: Università degli Studi di Trieste - Scuola Superiore di Lingue Moderne per Interpreti e Traduttori
Series/Report no.: Slavica Tergestina
Abstract: In Teuta, five-act tragedy by Dimitrije Demeter which is ranked as one of the fundamental texts of the 19th century Croatian historical drama, the central point of the plot is marked by the transformation of the main character from a bold woman warrior into a submissive wife and mother. In this paper that transformation is interpreted in the light of the relationship between politics and gender roles. The character of the woman-warrior includes a number of literary layers. A particularly interesting one is that of a Diana follower from the pastoral tradition, because of the traditional links between the Arcadian and androgynous myths. The text contains clear indications of a gender inversion between Teuta and Dimitar. In literary tradition Teuta is related to women warriors who dressed in men’s clothes in order to fight for an order that was established mainly by male principles (for their homeland or religion) and ended in apotheosis. They differ from the popular tradition of carnival mannish women that are trying to turn around the existing order and are often victims of brutal punishment (Natalie Zemon-Davis). In Teuta the literary topos is clearly reversed and what we have is taming of a virtuous woman warrior. The paper offers an interpretation of such Demeter’s approach against the background of the period in which life penetrated into history (Foucault), that is, in which it was necessary to base the civil society and nation upon the concurring gender oppositions. The patriarchal principle is also connected to the purity of a nation, for which there are clear indications in the text. However, the most interesting feature of Demeter’s tragedy lies in the fact that this thesis is both laid out and questioned in it. In the second part of the play Teuta’s femininity comes across as masquerade (Joan Riviere), and her tragic end (suicide with her infant in her arms) links gender to death, rather than to life.
Appears in Collections:Slavica Tergestina 11-12.

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