regina Lydorum fuit facie adeo prestanti ut ei se submiserit Hercules.
, historie rococo" ("Omphale
: a Rococo Story.") Recits fantastiques.
it was Love alone who bewitched him into this violence-- Not his laborious service in Lydia for Omphale
On Scyros, Thetis attempts to coax her boy into assuming feminine raiment by comparing several mythological characters who experienced gender transformation: Hercules, who dressed as a woman as a servant of Queen Omphale
, the androgynous god Bacchus, Jupiter, who disguised himself as Diana when in pursuit of Callisto, and Caeneus / Caenis.
When, in The Orphan, Castalio has been excluded from the bridal chamber on his wedding night, he compares himself to that archetypal man's man Hercules, reduced to serving Omphale
; and he in turn compares this submissive strong man to a dog: "How like a Dog / Lookt Hercules, thus to a Distaff chain'd?" (4.98-99).
Most editors gloss this scene as based on the myth of Hercules and Omphale
: The Roman poets ...
Since Hans painted only one extant picture (Hercules and Omphale
), the erect-winged serpent is usually a warrant of authenticity.
Anxious to disguise her son, Thetis assures Achilles that cross-dressing will not diminish his manhood, for he has mythological precedents to look to: Hercules spun wool for Omphale
, and Jove disguised himself as Diana to win Callisto (1.260-65); moreover, Thetis promises to keep quiet and not to tell his tutor Chiron (1.272).
(11) This is especially pronounced in the ball scenes of Balzac's novellas Sarrasine and Unefille d'Eve, in Theophile Gautier's fantastic tales Cafetiere and Omphale
, and in Victor Hugo's poems "La ronde du sabbat" in Odes et Ballades, and "Pour les pauvres" in Feuilles d'automne.
and the Instability of Gender," in Sexuality in Ancient Art, ed.