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Title:Erotic Love and the Development of Proto -Capitalist Ideology in Early Modern Comedy
Author(s):Damsen, Silver
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Carol Thomas Neely
Department / Program:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, Comparative
Abstract:Much of the conflation of erotic love and commodity ownership rests in the conflation of types of possession. Because the lovers each figure as erotic commodities to their prospective spouse, the lovers' desires for one another work to valorize both sexual gratification and commodity ownership. For example, in The Merchant of Venice, Bassanio conflates Portia's wealth and erotic appeal when he says, "her sunny locks/Hang on her temples like a golden fleece." This type of valorization, in turn, works to lessen the power of the patriarch of the extended house, to strengthen the authority of the crown, and to pair the gratification of desires with social stability. After the king in The Shoemaker's Holiday divorces and remarries Lacey and Rose, he then challenges the disgruntled guardians of the lovers with the statement, "Which of you all mislikes this harmony" (5.5.96). However, the daughter's agency is qualified by her acceptance of her husband's control; the licitness of Hermia's desire for Lysader in A Midsummer Night's Dream depends upon her acceptance of his "sovereignty" over her soul (1.1.81-82). The gratifications of marriage are the highest reward for male labor. The male characters of the community gain wealth and erotic delight when they gain possession of the rich commodities of the plays' daughters. The daughter's desire is likewise gratified but only when it allies with the will of the monarch for economic advancement, political centralization, and a well-ordered society.
Issue Date:2009
Description:221 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3391922
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2009

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