Rewriting Medea

Toni Morrison and Liz Lochhead's Postmodern Perspectives

by Marianna Pugliese


View First 25 Pages: (free download)


The complexity of the mother-children relationship, the problems of maternal loss, inordinate erotic love and betrayal, along with the need for a woman to affirm her own identity against every patriarchal oppression, arguably make Medea one of the most popular myths re-enacted by contemporary women writers.

Toni Morrison and Liz Lochhead turn to it for the freedom of creating narratives that offer both victimized and empowered portrayals of women, and exploit the key figure of problematic motherhood to invert its canonical tropes. The role of classic appropriation as a counter-hegemonic discourse demonstrates the possibilities of classical literature for voicing the concerns of the marginalized, and in such light shows the connection between classicism and female, racial and cultural empowerment.

About the Author

Marianna Pugliese teaches English Language and Translation at “Guglielmo Marconi” University, Rome. She earned her first class degree in Foreign Languages and Literatures at Bologna University in 2003. After a Master in Translation for dubbing and subtitling, she completed her two-year specialization course to become a teacher in Vienna. Her academic career continued between Edinburgh and Rome, where she concluded a European Ph.D. in Comparative Literature in 2011, defending a thesis on the retelling of the classical myth by contemporary women writers.