Precursor of 'Venus in Fur'

May 2012
166
Sacramento CA USA
The play (and movie) Venus in Fur involves the goddess Venus coming to earth and masquerading as a human.

I'm curious as to what older plays might have inspired Venus in Fur in the sense of a god or goddess behaving in similar way.

I am personally not knowledgeable about history of the theater.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

P.S. I hope that history of theater qualifies to be talked about on historum.
 

Pedro

Forum Staff
Mar 2008
17,151
On a mountain top in Costa Rica. yeah...I win!!
This interesting question has been moved to Arts and Cultural History.
 

David Vagamundo

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
4,439
Atlanta, Georgia USA
Sorry I can't help. I thought this was about the Velvet Underground song.

Edited: In Aeschylus' tragedy Agamemnon, Cassandra, daughter of King Priam of Troy, refused to make love to the god Apollo. As a result, she was cursed to be able to foresee the future but never be believed when she told about it. She
predicted that Paris would cause the destruction of Troy by "kidnapping" Helen, and the death of Agamemnon at the hands of his (Agamemnon's) wife, among other things.
 
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Moros

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
3,099
The Roman author, Ovid, in his Metamorphoses Book VIII, wrote of Jupiter and Hermes coming to Earth and masquerading as humans to see how hospitable the people of Tyana were. They found them mean and wicked, all except the elderly couple Baucis and Philemon, who were poor but shared what they had with their guests. The Gods destroyed the inhabitants of Tyana, but spared Baucis and Philemon.

This is supposedly the story that inspired the inhabitants of Lystra to declare that the saints Barnabas and Paul were the gods Zeus [Jupiter] and Hermes [Mercury], and cry out that “The gods have come down to us in human form!”, as told in Chapter 14 in the Book of Acts. The story is also claimed to parallel the visit of the two angels to Sodom and Gomorrah, who found the inhabitants evil and so destroyed them, all except Lot and his family who had kept them as guests.

The story of Baucis and Philemon was kept alive because Ovid's Metamorphoses was a popular read. La Fontaine made the story more popular by including it in his fables, and his version inspired an opera by Gounad in 1860.

There were other Greek/Roman myths about Gods hiding out as humans - such as Demeter who disguised herself as an old woman and lived in the house of Celeus, the King of Eleusisl; and gods disguised themselves as the mortal husbands of women they desired to sleep with. Various gods appear in the Iliad disguised as mortals during the siege of Troy; and Athena appears in disguise as a mortal in the Odyssey.

The goddess Aphrodite (Venus) disguised herself as Circe in order to influence Medea in her dealings with Jason.
 
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May 2012
166
Sacramento CA USA
Sorry I can't help. I thought this was about the Velvet Underground song.

Edited: In Aeschylus' tragedy Agamemnon, Cassandra, daughter of King Priam of Troy, refused to make love to the god Apollo. As a result, she was cursed to be able to foresee the future but never be believed when she told about it. She
predicted that Paris would cause the destruction of Troy by "kidnapping" Helen, and the death of Agamemnon at the hands of his (Agamemnon's) wife, among other things.
Thank you, David.
 
May 2012
166
Sacramento CA USA
The Roman author, Ovid, in his Metamorphoses Book VIII, wrote of Jupiter and Hermes coming to Earth and masquerading as humans to see how hospitable the people of Tyana were. They found them mean and wicked, all except the elderly couple Baucis and Philemon, who were poor but shared what they had with their guests. The Gods destroyed the inhabitants of Tyana, but spared Baucis and Philemon.

This is supposedly the story that inspired the inhabitants of Lystra to declare that the saints Barnabas and Paul were the gods Zeus [Jupiter] and Hermes [Mercury], and cry out that “The gods have come down to us in human form!”, as told in Chapter 14 in the Book of Acts. The story is also claimed to parallel the visit of the two angels to Sodom and Gomorrah, who found the inhabitants evil and so destroyed them, all except Lot and his family who had kept them as guests.

The story of Baucis and Philemon was kept alive because Ovid's Metamorphoses was a popular read. La Fontaine made the story more popular by including it in his fables, and his version inspired an opera by Gounad in 1860.

There were other Greek/Roman myths about Gods hiding out as humans - such as Demeter who disguised herself as an old woman and lived in the house of Celeus, the King of Eleusisl; and gods disguised themselves as the mortal husbands of women they desired to sleep with. Various gods appear in the Iliad disguised as mortals during the siege of Troy; and Athena appears in disguise as a mortal in the Odyssey.

The goddess Aphrodite (Venus) disguised herself as Circe in order to influence Medea in her dealings with Jason.
That is all very interesting, Moros.


Thank you so much for the detailed reply.
 

Moros

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
3,099
That is all very interesting, Moros.


Thank you so much for the detailed reply.
In addition -

In Greek mythology, Aeneas was the son of the goddess Aphrodite and the mortal Anchises. According to the Homeric Hymn no.5 Aphrodite was ashamed of her lust for a mortal man and disguised herself as a beautiful maiden when she visited him. Anchises suspected that she was in fact a goddess (although he wasn't sure which one), but on enquiry she flatly denied it and claimed to be a mortal woman; the daughter of Otreus, King of Phrygia. After they had had sex, Aphrodite confessed that Anchises had been right all along.
 
May 2012
166
Sacramento CA USA
There's a couple of plays and films from the 1940's that spring to mind, both musicals
'Down to Earth' (1947) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0039337
'One Touch of Venus' (1948) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0040669 although the movie version of 'One Touch of Venus' is basically the book of the Broadway musical minus the music (which is criminal, it's one of Kurt Well's best).
Thanks so much for the reply, Dave.

I was not familiar with Down to Earth. Venus in Fur has significant plot elements in common with Down To Earth. That's interesting.
 
May 2012
166
Sacramento CA USA
In addition -

In Greek mythology, Aeneas was the son of the goddess Aphrodite and the mortal Anchises. According to the Homeric Hymn no.5 Aphrodite was ashamed of her lust for a mortal man and disguised herself as a beautiful maiden when she visited him. Anchises suspected that she was in fact a goddess (although he wasn't sure which one), but on enquiry she flatly denied it and claimed to be a mortal woman; the daughter of Otreus, King of Phrygia. After they had had sex, Aphrodite confessed that Anchises had been right all along.
That's another excellent example.
Thanks yet again, Moros.
You certainly know a lot about mythology!