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Title:Reproducing Women: Female Bodily Narratives and English Patriarchies, 1600--1660
Author(s):Luttfring, Sara D.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Gray, Catharine
Department / Program:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Theater History
Abstract:Chapters 4 and 5 broaden the socio-political ramifications of women's words and bodies by demonstrating how female bodily narratives are required to establish paternity and legitimacy, and thus help shape patriarchal authority at multiple social levels. In chapter 4, I study representations of birthing room gossip in Thomas Middleton's play, A Chaste Maid in Cheapside (1613), and in three Mistris Parliament pamphlets (1648) that satirize parliamentary power. Across these texts, women's birthing room "gossip" comments on and critiques such issues as men's behavior towards their wives and children, the proper use of household funds, the finer points of religious ritual, and even the limits of the authority of the monarch. The collective speech of the female-dominated birthing room thus proves central not only to attributing paternity to particular men, but also to the consequent definition and establishment of the political, socio-economic, and domestic roles of patriarchy. Chapter 5 examines anxieties about paternity in William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale (1611) and in early modern monstrous birth pamphlets from 1600 to 1647, in which children born with congenital deformities are explained as God's punishment for the sexual, religious, and/or political transgressions of their parents or communities. Although the pamphlets attempt to contain and discipline women's unruly words and bodies with the force of male authority, the play reveals the dangers of male tyranny and the crucial role of maternal authority in reproducing and authenticating dynastic continuity and royal legitimacy. (Abstract shortened by UMI.).
Issue Date:2010
Description:225 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2010.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3452093
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2010

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