The Death Maiden

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The “Death and the Maiden” The Death and the Maiden was a common theme during the Renaissance, it came from the Dance of Death which is a theme about death and how it’s inescapable and everyone will have to dance it. In many dances of Death already figured a representation of Death with a fine lady or with a beautiful virgin. The image of a young woman was also found in the three ages and Death. However in both cases, there was no trace of erotic. But with “Death and the maiden” theme, something new happened. People discovered a dark bound between sexuality and death. In this type of iconography, the young lady was not involved in a dance anymore, but in a sensual intercourse, which will become always more erotic as time went by. The theme of the “Death and the Maiden” was apparent in the following works: Joyce Carol Oates’, "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Perrault and Grimms, "Little Red Riding Hood;” "Little Red Cap;" Sylvia Plath’s, Collected Poems, Antigone (Sophocles and Anouilh); and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. In the short story, "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?," Oates gave voice to a fifteen-year-old girl, Connie, who gets caught alone in her house by Arnold Friend, a killer based on Schmid who slowly seduces her from outside her flimsy screen door. She feels safe inside at first but ultimately he convinces her that she can only be safe with him. To Oates, Connie was both the prototypical American teenager of her day and the embodiment of the old myths of females being vulnerable to the illusive blend of death and eroticism. Oates has stated that she had the "Death and the Maiden" folktales in the back of her mind as she wrote this story; she even considered "Death and the Maiden" as a title. A common motif in Renaissance art, the "Death and the Maiden" trope has origins in the Greek myth of Persephone and Hades. Persephone, the daughter of the goddess Demeter, is ensnared by Hades and doomed to live with him in the underworld for

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