Iole, Onfale ed Ercole innamorato: da Ovidio al teatro sei-settecentesco


  • Lucia Degiovanni


Iole, Omphale, and Heracles in love: from Ovid to 17th- and 18th-centurydramaIn 17-18th century plays regarding Hercules’ death the character ofIole is deeply reinvented compared to ancient dramas: Iole is nolonger just an unfortunate prisoner of war, victim of her own beauty,but a proud and strong-willed woman, able to stand up to her fierceconqueror, while Hercules is represented as an elegiac lover, totally subjugated by the girl’s charm and even disposed to a sort of servitiumamoris to please her. In some prose and music dramas theaspect of the ‘submission’ of Hercules to Iole is further enhancedby attributing to her the characteristics of Omphale, who most embodiesthe mythical projection of the elegiac domina. This articlereconstructs the origin of the overlapping of the characters of Ioleand Omphale, tracing it back to a misunderstanding of the text ofOv. Her. IX documented in medieval comments and translations andwidespread through the interpretation of Iole’s character proposedby Boccaccio.