Cruelty towards children in Theban traditional tales

Harlick, Stephanie (1998) Cruelty towards children in Theban traditional tales. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Children frequently appear as characters in Greek traditional tales, usually as the objects of cruel treatment. The purpose of this thesis is to identify some of the more important tales which involve cruelty towards children, to examine the role of children in these tales, and to consider the relationship between adults and children in them. The ultimate goal is to identify the main function or functions of children in the tales. -- This thesis concentrates on those stories which center around Thebes, a place rich in traditional tales. Stories from other places are discussed where appropriate and which demonstrate that the acts of cruelty towards children were common throughout Greek traditional tales. -- The introductory chapter outlines the purpose of the thesis, and the scope of the investigation is set out through a classification of various types of cruelty towards children that occur in the tales. The tale of Niobe, who is portrayed by several authors as suffering endlessly, is used as an example to demonstrate cruelty towards children. -- The tales which are discussed in this thesis have been divided into three classifications, to each of which a chapter is devoted: 1) the abduction of children; 2) the abandonment and exposure of children; and 3) the murder of children. The analysis identifies different kinds of sources for each tale (e.g. tragedy, comedy, epic, drama, philosophy, mythography, the visual arts). Variations within the same tale that are important for this study are also considered. Conclusions which the evidence reveals concerning the role of children in Theban traditional tales are then drawn.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9075
Item ID: 9075
Additional Information: Bibliography: pages 89-93.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Classics
Date: 1998
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Greece--Thebes
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Tales--Greece--Thebes; Legends--Greece--Thebes; Child abuse in literature

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