Music and Gender in English Renaissance Drama

By Katrine K. Wong

© 2013 – Routledge

216 pages | 18 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780415806701
pub: 2012-11-14
US Dollars$145.00
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About the Book

This book offers a survey of how female and male characters in English Renaissance theatre participated and interacted in musical activities, both inside and outside the contemporary societal decorum. Wong’s analysis broadens our understanding of the general theatrical representation of music, or musical dramaturgy, and complicates the current discussion of musical portrayal and construction of gender during this period.

Wong discusses dramaturgical meanings of music and its association with gender, love, and erotomania in Renaissance plays. The negotiation between the dichotomous qualities of the heavenly and the demonic finds extensive application in recent studies of music in early modern English plays. However, while ideological dualities identified in music in traditional Renaissance thinking may seem unequivocal, various musical representations of characters and situations in early modern drama would prove otherwise. Wong, building upon the conventional model of binarism, explores how playwrights created their musical characters and scenarios according to the received cultural use and perception of music, and, at the same time, experimented with the multivalent meanings and significance embodied in theatrical music.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. "A damnd divel, or an Angel?": Music and Women 3. "Sing us a bawdy song, and make’s merry": Music and Men 4. "My heart is stolne out of my eare": Music, Love, and Sex 5. Conclusion

About the Author

Katrine K. Wong is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Macau.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Theatre & Performance Studies

This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Considering theatre and performance alongside topics such as religion, politics, gender, race, ecology, and the avant-garde, titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LIT019000
LITERARY CRITICISM / Renaissance
MUS000000
MUSIC / General
PER011020
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / History & Criticism
SOC032000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies