Perceived Motives for and Societal Reactions to Infanticide in the 20th and 21st Centuries
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The present investigation studies perceived motives for and societal reactions to the crime of infanticide and/or filicide in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Psychological and dramatic literatures are the tools through which both motive and perception of the perpetrator are investigated. Ancient Greek and Roman views are compared and contrasted with contemporary ones via four plays and two case studies. The Alice Crimmins and Andrea Yates cases are explored and compared to that of Medea as perceived motives morph from a 'bad' woman's vengeance to post-partum disorder and reactions to crime and perpetrator shift from horror and blaming to sympathy and understanding.