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John Fletcher: Gender and romance.

Button, Anne Joyce. (1996) John Fletcher: Gender and romance. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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The role of the Jacobean romance mode has been undervalued and misunderstood, not least because of what it has been seen to symbolise politically, and perhaps also because it was seen as beginning to be associated with a female audience. I suggest that gender and sexuality were often represented in romance in a radical way which was frequently empowering for women. Among dramatists, Fletcher and his collaborators in particular were freed by their use of romance to experiment with representations of gender in a radical way. The thesis is divided into four sections, all of which address the way that gender and sexuality are represented in the Beaumont and Fletcher canon. The first section has a chapter on Fletcher's debt to Shakespeare in Bonduca, and another on the two romance plays on which Fletcher and Shakespeare collaborated - The Two Noble Kimmen, and the lost Cardenio. The second section discusses Fletcher's The Faithful Shepherdess, first giving the context of English Jacobean pastoral tragicomedy and explaining its special significance for women, and secondly comparing Fletcher's play with Lady Mary Wroth's Love's Victory, a rare example of a Jacobean play by a woman. Section three explores the debt to prose romance of four plays - Philaster, Valentinian, Love's Cure and The Island Princess - focusing on the possibility that Fletcher may have been influenced by French precieux ideas. The final section investigates the part that women played in masques in the second half of the Jacobean period, and the way that Fletcher and his collaborators use masques and masque-like elements in their plays to exploit the dramatic potential of the Jacobean female masquer's unusually public and self-affirming role. By exploring the impact of Jacobean feminocentric romance forms on the plays of Fletcher and his collaborators I offer a fuller understanding of the ways in which they regarded gender and sexuality, and contribute to the wider project of rediscovering a history of women in the Jacobean period.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Button, Anne Joyce.
Date : 1996
Contributors :
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 09 Nov 2017 12:11
Last Modified : 16 Mar 2018 16:58

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