The Dual Female Space in Byron’s Turkish Tales

The Dual Female Space in Byron’s Turkish Tales

ABSTRACT: Since our existence is defined by the concept of space, our social lives therefore are defined by spatial relationships. The theory of space has developed a dynamic representation of the conception and creation of relationships, especially gender relations. Gender cannot be considered by neglecting the issue of space since both are interrelated. Females, however, occupy restricted spaces in spite of the multifarious positions males freely occupy. In fact, space is a maternal/feminized entity according to Luce Irigaray, Elaine Showalter, Gayatri Spivak, Julia Kristeva, Plato, William Blake and I. A. Richards. To feminists, space is perceived through the lens of male power and female resistance. The urge of women writers to reduce gender discrimination and sexual stereotyping during the Romantic Movement was visible in Lord Byron‘s poems. Byron‘s controversial sexuality—awareness of his feminine side—is in itself a unique existential space placing him among artists that reveal both gender sides: the meek and bold. This study investigates how Byron pictured the space his feminine heroes occupied in his Turkish tales and distinguishable version of the ―female other. It offers a feminist reading of three of Byron‘s Turkish tales: The Giaour (1813), The Bride of Abydos (1813) and The Corsair (1814) and explores the figurative spaces that Byron allocates for his Turkish heroines.
KEYWORDS: Lord Byron, Byronic heroines, Turkish tales, theory of space, figurative space, spatial symbols, seraglio