Non-Fiction Books:

A Feminist Perspective on Renaissance Drama


Paperback / softback

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A Feminist Perspective on Renaissance Drama by Alison Findlay
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We know that women made up a significant part of Renaissance theater audiences but how might they have read the plays presented there? This book uses the writings of sixteenth and seventeenth century women to construct a feminist perspective on drama by Shakespeare, Marlowe, Jonson, Middleton, Ford, and their contemporaries. Chapters are arranged thematically on key issues or genres. Women's religious compositions open up readings of plays like Doctor Faustus and Measure for Measure as interrogations of conventional beliefs which underpinned relations between men and women. Chapter 2 considers drama from across the period, including The Spanish Tragedy, The Revenger's Tragedy and The Maid's Tragedy, to show how revenge tragedy taps into deep fears and desires about women's agency and maternal power. Comedy, the female romantic quest, and the city as a site of female pleasure, are examined in diverse texts such as All's Well That Ends Well, The Duchess of Malfi, The Roaring Girl and Epicoene. Chapter 5 focuses on the household space as a specifically female form of imprisonment, analyzing Romeo and Juliet, Arden of Faversham, The Tragedy of Mariam and The Changeling and other domestic tragedies in the light of Renaissance women's experiences. The final chapter discusses queenship, subjects and women's interventions into masculine history, with detailed readings of Marlowe's Edward II and Shakespeare's Richard II using the writings of Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I.

Author Biography

Alison Findlay is a lecturer in English at Lancaster University, specializing in feminist approaches to Shakespeare, Renaissance Drama and women's writing of the early modern period.
Release date NZ
December 12th, 1998
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Blackwell Publishers
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