Camille Maupin: Io to Balzac's Prometheus

Because of her "larger-than-lifeness" and her superior qualities, is Camille Maupin of Béatrix an "Io" to Balzac's "Prometheus"? There is no evidence that Balzac either based Camille Maupin on Io or that he who perceived himself as Prometheus saw any relationship between this "femme supérieure" and Io. However, an examination of Camille Maupin and the tragedy of her life vis-à-vis the Io of Greek legend and, particularly, of Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound reveals many parallels between the nature and fortunes of the two. Further, when one considers both Balzac's views of the "femme supérieure" (and, especially, of the "femme auteur") and the role of Zeus as the hidden protagonist of the Prometheus Bound, one may rightly argue that Balzac is as much Zeus as Prometheus to Maupin's Io. (CB)
Barry, Catherine
Volume 1991-1992 Fall-Winter; 20(1-2): 44-52