Abstract

Through a sociohistorical analysis of the hydra in Giambattista Basile's dragon-slayer tale "Lo mercante," this essay challenges the universalizing interpretation of the dragon as a worthy foil for the hero. In depicting the hero's struggle with the beast, Basile employs tropes that purposefully recall a creature that was crafted by charlatans and widely discussed in scientific texts. Basile transforms the epic battle between dragon and slayer into a comic encounter in which the hero confronts a manufactured monster while playfully blurring the boundary between two seemingly disparate genres, the scientific treatise and the literary fairy tale.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1536-1802
Print ISSN
1521-4281
Pages
pp. 167-196
Launched on MUSE
2005-11-23
Open Access
No
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