Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"She's Too Vibrant for a Name"

Juliet, Helena, Cassandra, Cleopatra, Beatrice, Guinevere? What a line up of Beauties.

Mostly familiar names at least to 1960's audiences who were still studying the classics in school.

In case you missed it in English class..

Cassandra was the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba. Her beauty caught Apollo's eye and he granted her the gift of prophesy. Unfortunately for him it was unrequitted love so he put a curse on Cassandra. She still had the gift but no one would believe her. Cassandra was left with the knowledge of future events, but could neither alter these events nor convince others of the validity of her predictions.

We get the phrase the Cassandra metaphor from our fair lady.

The Cassandra metaphor (variously labelled the Cassandra 'syndrome', 'complex', 'phenomenon', 'predicament', 'dilemma', or 'curse'), is a term applied in situations in which valid warnings or concerns are dismissed or disbelieved.

Jones's Beatrice may be the one from Much Ado About Nothing as is Helena but I like this Beatrice better.

Beatrice was the woman to whom the great Italian poet Dante dedicated most of his poetry and almost all of his life, from his first sight of her at the age of nine (“from that time forward, Love quite governed my soul”) through his glorification of her in La divina commedia, completed 40 years later, to his death in 1321.

Beatrice is usually identified as Beatrice Portinari, the daughter of a noble Florentine family, who married Simone de’ Bardi and died at the age of 24 on June 8, 1290. Dante wrote a chronicle of his relationship with her

Cleopatra. I couldn't possibly do justice to her in a short little blog post so I'll pay homage to the iconic Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra.

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