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Title: Fashioning anatomies : figurations of the sexed and gendered body on the early modern English stage
Author: Billing, Christian M.
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2000
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Abstract:
This dissertation is an investigation into the representation of the sexed and gendered body on the English stage between the years 1570 and 1635. The parameters of the study are fully set out in the introduction, however, a summary that might prove useful to the general reader is as follows: The thesis commences with an account of the 'one-sex' anatomical model - as recently set out by Thomas Laqueur in Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud (Cambridge. Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1990). It then proceeds to question the dominance of such an anatomical paradigm throughout the entire Renaissance - and, in its first chapter, sets out evidence from various medical treatises in order to outline the emergence of a contrasting 'two-sex' model of human reproductive biology. Chapter two then uses evidence from a 'two-sex' model in order to re-examine the homo-erotic implications of theatrical narratives that present (or imply) spontaneous sex changes (by means of an analysis of John Lyly's Gallathea and Shakespeare's Falstaff plays). In chapter three, attention turns to the female body in early modern English society and attempts to assess the implications of an emergent 'two-sex' model on female cultural and social agency in the period (by means of an analysis of actual female-to-male cross-dressers and the anatomical representations of the female body that were undertaken in elite cultural forms such as the Court Masque). Chapter four then turns back to the professional English transvestite stage in order to examine the strategies of recuperation of the female body that were employed in a production environment that was exclusively controlled by men (and this is undertaken by means of an analysis of Middleton and Dekker's The Roaring Girl and Beaumont and Fletcher's The Maid's Tradedy). Chapter five turns its attention to an analysis of theatre and anatomy hall architecture in order to examine the ways in which one exclusive private theatre (Christopher Beeston's Phoenix, in Drury Lane) sought to exploit an architectural accident in order to provide elite audiences with a staged representation of the processes of anatomical dissection. Finally, chapter six examines four plays by John Ford: The Witch of Edmonton, The Broken Heart, Love's Sacrifice and 'Tis Pity She's A Whore in order to examine the anatomical emblazonment of the female body in two specific Private theatres. The dissertation also contains four appendices: I) Selections from the Published Debate Between Jean Riolan and Jacques Duval Concerning the Case of Marie Le Marcis, the Hermaphrodite of Rouen II) The List of Sex Changes from Johann Schenck von Graffenberg's Observationum Medicarum Rarum (Frankfurt, 1600) III) Selections From Thomas Artus' L'Isle des Hermaphrodites IV) Selections From The Boke of Duke Huon ofBurdeux, translated by Sir John Bourchier (Lord Berners] (Wynkyn de Worde, 1534) V) Anthony Wood, Athena Oxonienses. An Exact history of all the Writers and Bishops who have had their Education in the most Ancient and Famous University ofOxford(a Biography of William Petty)
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Wisconsin-Madison ; British Academy ; University of Warwick. Dept. of Theatre Studies
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.365224  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater ; QM Human anatomy Literature Mass media Performing arts Sociology Human services
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