Euiripides's tragedy Iphigenia among the Taurians has been considered famously difficult to adapt, in no small part because its primary theme is the establishment of a long-dead ancient Greek religious cult. This article examines the substantial adaptive changes that early modern adaptors employed to make this pagan story stageable in Christian Europe, with a particular focus on gender. Utilizing the case studies of a neoclassical French popular success (De La Grange-Chancel's Oreste et Pilade) and the Lockean English adaptation it spawned in turn (Dennis's Iphigenia: A Tragedy), “Human Sacrifice, Nuns, and Gender-Bent Kings” tracks this story's evolution from religious to political to colonial in its corresponding journey from Pagan to Catholic to Protestant Humanist, while exploring how each of these incarnations depends on alterations of gender presentation for its thematic coherence. In showing the drastic changes that were made to characters' gender presentations, and how those gender presentations underpin religious doctrine in each context, this paper demonstrates the strong links between religious faith and constructions of gender in the process of cross-cultural adaptation.

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