Women of the raison d’État
Finn, Thomas, "Women of the raison d’État", dans Cahiers du XVIIe siècle, 2011, vol. XIII, 2.
Seventeenth-century tragedy and tragi-comedy often push the limits of the raison d’État, that is, the belief that the State may go to extreme measures, or even commit immoral acts, to accomplish its aims. Furthermore, this ideology dictates that, since both cannot be satisfied, individuals should sacrifice their personal interests to those of the State, often embodied in the sovereign ruler. Male characters of the era seem to accept this either/or bargain because, in the worlds created on stage, they will be hailed as great champions, saviors whose memory will be eternally cherished. Some female protagonists, however, seeing little hope of equal reward for their sacrifices, defy this stereotypically male portrayal of heroism by widening the horizon of possible options and proposing a more varied and, at times, radical response to the raison d’État conundrum.
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