Liminal Leda: A Conversation About Art, Poetry, and Vague Translations of Sex

By: Molly Pistrang '13

Advising Faculty: John Gordon

My paper explores the idea that Leda has been used throughout recent history as a vehicle through which artists and poets talk non-explicitly about sex. After presenting her undetermined mythical origins in chapter one, I explore different identities assumed by Leda during the half century prior to Yeats. In chapter two, I focus on Leda as universal woman, explicit character, and one who looks. In chapter three, I move to Leda's larger roles as liminal figure and portrait, and discuss the changing role of exterior versus interior perspective. Chapter four is a detailed study on Yeats' sonnet that develops into chapter five, an account of post-Yeats works that internalize enigmatic Leda's nuanced experience and continue speaking today.

This honors thesis may be viewed in its entirety at Digital Commons @ Connecticut College.

Related Fields: English