The Femme Fatale: Alex Forrest & Lady Bertilak & Alyson of Bath Essay

The Femme Fatale: Alex Forrest & Lady Bertilak & Alyson of Bath Essay

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Since the beginning of time, women have been seen as different from men. Their beauty and charms have been interpreted as both endearing and deadly to men. In the Bible, it was Eve’s mistake that led to humanity’s exile from the Garden of Eden. However, unlike in the Bible, in today’s world, women who drive men to ruin do not do so through simple mistakes and misunderstandings, they do so while fully aware of what effects their sexuality can cause. One thing remains constant through these portrayals of women, and that is that they are portrayed as flawed creations and therefore monstrous. It is a woman’s sex drive and sexuality that can lead to her monstrosity. The femme fatale is an enticing, exquisitely beautiful, erotic character who plays the ultimate trick of nature: she displays her beauty, captures the man and goes in for the kill. Films such as Adrian Lyne’s Fatal Attraction and stories such as Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath’s Tale, and Sir Gawain the Green Knight use the femme fatale as a means of making a woman into a monster; the femme fatale can never win in the battle of the sexes. But what is it that makes the femme fatale such a dangerously character for the hero as well as the readers or viewers?
In the movie Fatal Attraction, Dan has an extramarital affair with Alex Forrest one weekend while his wife and daughter are away. After spending the weekend with Alex, Dan tells her that they must break things off because he loves his wife. Alex, however, has different ideas and refuses to take a no for an answer by telling him, I will not be ignored, Dan. Alex uses her sinister attraction to inflict chaos by stalking Dan, kidnapping his daughter, boiling the family’s rabbit, and trying to murder his wife, thus becom...


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...e Review of English Studies 49.193 (1998): 1+. Academic OneFile. Web. 9 Feb. 2014.
Ellis, Kate. “Fatal Attraction, Or The Post-Modern Prometheus.” Journal of Sex Research 27.1 (1990): 111-22. Academic Search Complete. Web. 9 Feb. 2014. .
Fatal Attraction. Dir. Adrian Lyne. Perf. Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, and Anne Archer. Paramount Pictures, 1987. At School.
Straus, Barie Ruth. "The Subversive Discourse of the Wife of Bath: Phallocentric Discourse and the Imprisonment of Criticism." ELH 55.3 (1988): 527-54. JSTOR. Web. 9 Feb. 2014. .

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