The Rhys Woman pp 141-175 | Cite as

Antoinette and Edward: Locating the Tragic Figure

  • Paula Le Gallez


In Wide Sargasso Sea, a tragic intensity which is unique in the canon of Jean Rhys’s writing, is evoked through the alternation of two distinct voices in the text. Antoinette Cosway, the last ‘Rhys woman’, shares the narrative discourse with her husband, Edward Rochester, whose picture of himself as a tragic hero can be shown to have been carefully striven for. In this final chapter, by focusing on these two contrasting self-portraits, I will demonstrate that whereas Edward’s rendering of himself eventually defeats its object through its very intention, Antoinette does emerge as a genuine tragic figure.


Final Page English Summer Original Utterance Tragic Hero Oppressive Force 
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  1. 1.
    This is Mrs Eff’s description of the younger Rochester. Wide Sargasso Sea (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1968) p.145.Google Scholar

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© Paula Le Gallez 1990

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  • Paula Le Gallez

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