Godard's Le Mepris, Penelope and the Odyssey
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This article discusses the engagement of Jean Luc Godard’s 1963 film Le Mépris (Contempt) with the Odyssey, through several intermediaries, namely: the novel it is based on, Alberto Moravia’s Il Disprezzo (1954); James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922); and Roberto Rossellini’s 1954 film Viaggio in Italia. Seen in the context of the emergent and complex feminism of the New Wave, this essay considers whether Godard’s film amounts to a Penelopean view of the Odyssey. Like all three of his model texts, Godard reads the Odyssey as a story about marriage, and thus must consider the interpretation of Penelope a focal point. But Godard’s outlook for the success of modern marriage is bleak, as is his assessment of modernity’s ability to live up to ancient ideals.
|Journal||International Journal of the Classical Tradition|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 13 May 2015|