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Title:Re-Producing Shakespeare, Engendering Anxiety: Women's Cross -Gender Performance and British National Identity
Author(s):Klett, Elizabeth Theo
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Carol Thomas Neely
Department / Program:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Women's Studies
Abstract:Chapter One, the introduction, develops a model for reading women's cross-gender performances of Shakespeare, and the ensuing chapters analyze four representative productions. Chapter Two, "The King's Many Bodies," looks at Fiona Shaw's 1995--96 performance as Richard II. Her interpretation expanded Ernst Kantorowicz's interpretation of the play as the tragedy of "the king's two bodies," and revealed the king's many bodies through her portrayal of Richard as king, god, lover, mother, man, woman, and other. Chapter Three, "Playing with Contradictions," analyzes Kathryn Hunter's 1997 portrayal of King Lear. Her performance played with the contradictions that are inherent in Shakespeare's play and in the critical and theatrical traditions that have accrued around the play, showing that Lear is both hunter and hunted, father and mother, king and man, universal human and particular body. Chapter Four, "Gender in Exile," explores Vanessa Redgrave's 2000 performance as Prospero in The Tempest. Her interpretation conceptualized Prospero as an exile who must become both mother and father to Miranda, Ariel, and Caliban. Chapter Five, "Staging and Subverting Nostalgia," focuses on Dawn French's 2001 turn as Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream. This production changed the gender of the character to negate the controversial implications of women's cross-gender performance; yet French's portrayal nonetheless explored the queer implications of Bottom's relationship with Titania. The four production chapters show that these women's performances are vital because they encourage their audiences to think differently about Shakespeare, their nation, and themselves.
Issue Date:2003
Description:261 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3101887
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2003

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