Christa Wolf's "Cassandra": A Woman Finally Believed? Analytical Essay by Nicky

An analysis of Christa Wolf's novel, "Cassandra", from its feminist perspective.
# 151278 | 1,389 words | 0 sources | 2012 | US
Published on May 31, 2012 in Literature (Greek and Roman) , Literature (German)

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The paper relates that Aeschylus' ancient Greek tragedy "Agamemnon" is a work told from the point of view of male eyes; feminist Christa Wolf, retells the tale in her book "Cassandra" through the point of view of Cassandra instead of Clytemnestra. The paper demonstrates how this book is a critique of the way patriarchy turns women against other women, and asserts that Wolf's novel is successful in the way it forces the reader to look at the world with Cassandra's eyes. The paper concludes that as a novelist and an anti-war advocate, Wolf's work is compelling, but it should not be read as a historical guide to attitudes in the ancient world.

From the Paper:

"By usurping her husband's authority and taking a lover, Clytemnestra is a threatening figure to male power, although she treats her own daughter Electra cruelly, and kills Agamemnon's unwilling concubine Cassandra. Feminist Christa Wolf, in her retelling of the story in a novella fittingly titled Cassandra, relates the tale through the point of view of Cassandra instead of Clytemnestra, as the sympathetic reader might initially expect. Instead, Wolf states that Clytemnestra is a woman who tries to integrate herself into the prevailing systems of power and patriarchy, by allying herself with men, rather than questioning the system of male authority and war altogether. The loss of Iphigenia motivates the queen to 'best' her husband at his own 'game' of violence, not to opt out of the Greek economy of revenge and hate. Clytemnestra's jealousy of Cassandra, who is forcibly brought home as a concubine of war, reveals the queen to be less of a friend of women than the reader might suspect. But in Christa Wolf's version, the tale of the Trojan princess, doomed to foretell the future and never to be believed, is brought into sharp focus as a critique of the way patriarchy turns women against other women. Cassandra, unlike the powerful Clytemnestra, has resisted gaining power through men, and suffers for it."

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Christa Wolf's "Cassandra": A Woman Finally Believed? (2012, May 31) Retrieved April 12, 2024, from

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