Introduction

The bibliography provides information on writings dealing with the history of rape, including sexual child abuse, sexual harassment, sexual molestation, child prostitution, forced prostitution, sexual slavery, sexual(ized) violence. The blog informs about calls for papers, forthcoming events and new literature in this field.

May 9, 2010

ART: J.P.E. Harper-Scott. "Britten's opera about rape."

In: Cambridge opera journal 21(1) (March, 2009): pp. 65-88.

Abstract: "Lucretia's principal virtue is her undoing. Her chastity is vaunted as the guarantor of Collatinus's honour and standing, as the trigger for Tarquinius's lust, and its brutal loss as the symbol of the corruption of the Etruscans and thus the catalyst for Junius's ascent to power. She is established in a patriarchal system as a desexed woman, as innocent as a child, who can only exist as a chaste wife. When her virtue is polluted by rape, she has no choice but to kill herself in an attempt to restore her function as chaste wife.
Britten's opera encodes the naming of Lucretia in terms redolent of the oppressive ‘speech-acts’ of Peter Grimes. Through tonal and motivic association the projection of her innocence and the ‘stain’ introduced by her rape are worked into the opera's design at the level of long-range musical structure. Through analysis of the thematic implications of musical process in the work, this article opens to view the complex and at times conflicting moral hermeneutics of the work."

Full Text: Cambridge University Press. [Restricted access.]