The Cenci | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 25 pages of analysis & critique of The Cenci.
This section contains 5,967 words
(approx. 20 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Harry White

SOURCE: White, Harry. “Beatrice Cenci and Shelley's Avenger.” Essays in Literature 5, no. 1 (spring 1978): 27-38.

In the following essay, White explains that Shelley's changes to his source material downplay themes of tyrannical power and rebellion in favor of notions of retribution and atonement.

A significant number of readers are not entirely convinced that the murder in The Cenci can be construed as an act of vengeance. Aware of Shelley's explicit condemnation of “revenge, retaliation, atonement,” they will nevertheless insist that “there is no evidence that she [Beatrice] seeks revenge. … [S]he is not thinking in such terms. For her it is a deed that is as yet unexpiated and that asks atonement”1 (this despite Shelley's association of revenge and atonement). Tending to regard the murder as an “act of rebellion,”2 they prefer to describe Beatrice as a “public benefactor,” one who resorts to bloodshed to extirpate “social and domestic...

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This section contains 5,967 words
(approx. 20 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Harry White
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Critical Essay by Harry White from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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