Title

Louise Labé and Semiramis: A Feminist Reading

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1997

Publisher

Women in French Association

Abstract

The example of Semiramis in Louise Labé's first elegy reverses misogynistic trends current throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance by emphasizing Semiramis' earlier reputation as a great warrior and builder and re-contextualizing her reputation for incest andsexual excess. Thus a poem ostensibly about the power of love, in a literary genre conventionally participating in the subordination or silencing of women, celebrates the power of poetry to transform history, giving women a place in the center.