He writes, "In Classical times the Pythoness
had an attendant priest who induced her trance by burning barley grains, hemp, and laurel over an oil lamp in an enclosed space, and then interpreted what she said" [emphasis added] ...
As Glennis Stephenson explains, "The Pythoness
projects the image of a woman controlled by male authority--both in what she says and how she is interpreted, but she is actually a woman who seizes the opportunity to speak by claiming the influence of inspiration." (38) Both Landon's and Barrett's poetic strategies are "controlled by male authority," as the image of Pythia suggests, but where Landon's strategy manipulates control over her work-her poems like the body of Pythia channel emotion as truth for her audience--Barrett's mimicks the authority that controls her.
At the beginning of the novel, Maggie Tulliver is described as a child who looks "like a small Medusa with her snakes cropped" (1985: 161), and a whirling "pythoness
" (1985: 79).
Alyssa Bresnahan Odysseus/Calchas Alan Dobie Agamemnon/Priam/ Menelaus Greg Hicks Clytemnestra/Andromache/ Ilione/Helen Annalee Jefferies Hecuba/Nurse/Aethra Ann Mitchell Achilles/Aegisthus/ Neoptolemus/Orestes Robert Petkoff Poet/Tyndarus/Peleus/ Telephus/Palamedes/ Polymestor David Ryall Leda/Deidamia/ Electra/Hermione/ Iphigenia/Polyxena Mia Yoo Chorus: Francesca Carlin, Joy Jones, Tess Lina, Jeanne Paulsen, Christina Pawl, Nicole Poole, Juliet Smith, Mia Tagano, Vickie Tanner, Robin Terry.
Some of Jarrell's earliest poems do veer closely to his teachers' apocalyptic sensibility (associated here, not coincidentally, with a threatening vision of femininity--the gaping pythoness
): it was this side of the early Jarrell of which Tate approved.
Hermione is a pythoness
, caught in the coils of her own conscious and unconscious processes.