The Voice of The Repressed in “Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady”: Ecofeminism, Queer Theory, and Ecophobia

Document Type : Original Article


Cappodocia University, Nevşehir, Turkey.



It is possible to examine “Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady” (1896) by Vernon Lee via the perspectives of ecofeminism, queer theory, and ecophobia. The protagonist of the tale is Prince Alberic, who falls in love with the snake lady after meeting her in the wilderness. Despite their affection, the patriarchal figure eventually kills the snake lady. The snake lady is portrayed in the tale as a strong, natural being who is ultimately destroyed by the male-dominated human society, which is a clear example of ecofeminism. The snake woman can be interpreted as a symbol of the natural environment and the ecofeminist idea that patriarchal institutions frequently oppress women and nature in ways that are similar to one another. The relationship between Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady challenges conventional ideas of gender and sexuality, hence queer theory can also be applied to the narrative. Existing outside of conventional gender boundaries, the Snake Lady questions the heteronormative ideals of their civilization through her romance with Prince Alberic. Finally, ecophobia is present in the story through the Prince's father's fear and hatred of the snake lady, which ultimately leads to her death. This apprehension of nature might be regarded as a reflection of broader cultural apprehensions about the unknowable and the Other.