Desire and Anxiety (Routledge Revivals): Circulations of Sexuality in Shakespearean Drama, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Desire and Anxiety (Routledge Revivals)

Circulations of Sexuality in Shakespearean Drama, 1st Edition

By Valerie Traub


182 pages

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In both feminist theory and Shakespearean criticism, questions of sexuality have consistently been conflated with questions of gender. First published in 1992, this book details the intersections and contradictions between sexuality and gender in the early modern period. Valerie Traub argues that desire and anxiety together constitute the erotic in Shakespearean drama – circulating throughout the dramatic texts, traversing ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ sites, eliciting and expressing heterosexual and homoerotic fantasies, embodiments, and fears. This is the first book to present a non-normalizing account of the unconscious and the institutional prerogatives that comprise the erotics of Shakespearean drama. Employing feminist, psychoanalytic, and new historical methods, and using each to interrogate the other, the book synthesises the psychic and the social, the individual and the institutional.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction: Talking about sexuality in Shakespeare; Part I: Erotic paranoia 1. Jewels, statues, and corpses: containment of female erotic power (Hamlet, Othello, The Winter’s Tale) 2. Prince Hal’s Falstaff: positioning psychoanalysis and the female reproductive body (Henry IV, parts 1 and 2, Henry V) 3. Invading bodies/bawdy exchanges: disease, desire, and representation (Troilus and Cressida); Part II: Erotic possibility 4. Desire and the differences it makes 5. The homoerotics of Shakespearean comedy (As You Like It, Twelfth Night); Afterword; Notes; Index

About the Series

Routledge Revivals

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Drawing from over 100 years of innovative, cutting-edge publishing, Routledge Revivals is an exciting programme whereby key titles from the distinguished and extensive backlist of the many acclaimed imprints associated with Routledge will be re-issued.

The programme draws upon the illustrious backlists of Kegan Paul, Trench & Trubner, Routledge & Kegan Paul, Methuen, Allen & Unwin and Routledge itself.

Routledge Revivals spans the whole of the Humanities and Social Sciences, and includes works by some of the world’s greatest thinkers including Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Simone Weil, Martin Buber, Karl Jaspers and Max Beloff.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
DRAMA / Shakespeare