1st Edition

Spectrums of Shakespearean Crossdressing The Art of Performing Women

By Courtney Bailey Parker Copyright 2020
    168 Pages
    by Routledge

    168 Pages
    by Routledge

    Since young male players were the norm during the English Renaissance, were all cross-dressed performances of female characters played with the same degree of seriousness? Probably not. Spectrums of Representation in Shakespearean Crossdressing examines these varied types of female characters in English Renaissance drama, drawing from a range of play texts themselves in order to investigate if evidence exists for varying performance practices for male-to-female crossdressing. This book argues for a reading of the representation of female characters on the English Renaissance stage that not only suggests categorizing crossdressing along a spectrum of theatrical artifice, but also explores how this range of artifice enriches our understanding of the plays. The scholarship surrounding cross-dressing rarely makes this distinction, since in our study of early modern plays we tend to accept as a matter of course that all crossdressing was essentially the same. The basis of Spectrums of Representation in Shakespearean Crossdressing is that it was not.

    Introduction: Spectrums of Theatrical Representation in Male-to-Female Crossdressing

    Chapter One: The Disguised Heroine and Castiglione’s Shadow in Shakespeare’s Cross-Dressed Comedies

    Chapter Two: An Amazon in the City: The Roaring Girl's Theatrical Memorialization of Mary Frith

    Chapter Three: Representing the Tragic Noblewoman in The Duchess of Malfi, Romeo and Juliet, and Titus Andronicus

    Chapter Four: Crossdressing for Comic Effect: The Remnants of Francis Flute's Pitiful Thisby in the New Globe Theatre's 2012 Twelfth Night

    Chapter Five: Female Falstaffs: Identifying the Man-Woman in English Renaissance Drama




    Courtney Bailey Parker is an Assistant Professor of English & Theatre Studies at Greenville University in Greenville, Illinois. She earned her Ph.D. in English Literature from Baylor University and her B.A. in the same subject from Mercer University.