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Submission, Seduction, and State Propaganda in Favart's 'Soliman II, ou Les trois sultanes'

Elmarsafy, Z. (2001) Submission, Seduction, and State Propaganda in Favart's 'Soliman II, ou Les trois sultanes'. French Forum, 26 (3). pp. 13-26. ISSN 0098-9355

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Abstract

The following essay aims at reading the propaganda value of Favart's Soliman II, ou Les trois sultanes. 1 Based on an eponymous short story by Marmontel, the play narrates the reformation of the Ottoman court through the good offices of a French woman, Roxelane. 2 Favart's Soliman is represented as a monarch leading a fairly profligate existence, jumping from one member of his harem (what he calls his "machines caressantes" (259)) to another. He is shown pining after a Spanish woman, Elmire, only to lose interest in her once she agrees to his offer and openly declares her love for him. Roxelane, on the other hand, attracts the sultan's interest with her native understanding of sovereignty, her brash critiques of life at the court, and, more significantly, her apparent indifference to the Sultan. Amidst the many chains of unrequited love that bind the sultan to the harem, her show of indifference stands her in very good stead. It also affords her a moral soapbox of sorts, from which she preaches opposition to the Sultan's harem politics in favor of a by now familiar message of liberty, equality and fraternity.

Item Type: Article
Academic Units: The University of York > English and Related Literature (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2009 09:38
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2009 09:38
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/frf.2001.0028
Status: Published
Publisher: French Forum, Publishers, Inc
Identification Number: 10.1353/frf.2001.0028
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6133

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