Essay about Femme Fatales of English Literature

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Femme Fatales of English Literature

The femme fatale, a seductive woman who entices men into perilous and compromising positions by way of charisma and mystery, is a classic, and often enthralling, character who can be found in many sources of literature and mythology of various origins and eras (“Femme Fatale” 1).
“If the goddess of virtue is a lily and the vamp is an overripe red rose, the femme fatale is a Venus flytrap.” (Billinghurst 1).
In the simple quote above, Ms. Jane Billinghurst, author of “Temptress”, provides explanation of the femme fatale by way of metaphor, likening the way in which the Venus flytrap, or Dionaea muscipula, succeeds in obtaining its next meal by way of temptation to the likeness of the femme fatale
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. . And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Genesis 3:6 – 3:19).
The use of Eve’s great beauty and sexuality, characteristics of the femme fatale, are what ultimately tempts Adam to eat the forbidden fruit, dooming himself to an eternity of pain, suffering, sin and death (Hass 1).
Although numerous scholars view Eve as the principle true fatale, some consider another character of Jewish belief to be the initial femme fatale ever noted in literature and mythology: Lilith.
According to Jewish myth, Lilith was…