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Femme Fatales of English Literature

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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, using temptation to secure her victims, thus leading to unescapable doom (Venus’s fly-trap 1).

“Temptress”, whose pages and cover alike overflow with a lavish visual collection of photographs, paintings and illustrations of the femme fatale, examines the extraordinary and fascinating history of sexual, or sexualised, women and the journey taken in receiving the infamous title of the femme fatale.

This symbolic figure exists in numerous varying forms and

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