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Ladies' GreekVictorian Translations of Tragedy$
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Yopie Prins

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691141893

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691141893.001.0001

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ΙΩ‎ in Prometheus Bound

ΙΩ‎ in Prometheus Bound

(p.57) Chapter Two ΙΩ‎ in Prometheus Bound
Ladies' Greek

Yopie Prins

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how women's claim to classical literacy was related to the problem of translating “literally” by focusing on different versions of Prometheus Bound. In particular, it considers the ways that various practices of “literal” translation seemed to bind women to Aeschylus's tragedy. The discussion begins with a reading of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (E.B.B.), the first woman to translate Prometheus Bound into English (in 1833 and again in 1850) and an important prototype for other “lady-translators” in England and America. The chapter argues that the translator's bondage is dramatized not only through the suffering of the immobilized Prometheus, but also through the cries of the painfully mobile IΩ‎. It also traces how IΩ‎ traveled from England to America and back to Greece to highlight the different modes of translation employed by these women translators to perform their identification with Greek letters.

Keywords:   classical literacy, Prometheus Bound, literal translation, tragedy, Greek, women, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, lady-translators, Greek letters

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