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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: September ::
Re: Outsiders
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0758.  Wednesday, 28 Sept. 1994.
 
(1)     From:   John Drakakis <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Sep 94 10:34:00 BST
        Subj:   SHK 5.0751 Re: Women and Outsiders: Ado
 
(2)     From:   James P. Saeger <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Sep 1994 11:43:47 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0751 Bastards/Outsiders
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Drakakis <
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Date:           Tuesday, 27 Sep 94 10:34:00 BST
Subject: Re: Women and Outsiders: Ado
Comment:        SHK 5.0751 Re: Women and Outsiders: Ado
 
For Melissa Aaron,
 
Have a look at Christopher Norris & Richard Machen eds., Poststructuralist
Readings of English Poetry (Cambridge 1987).  There you will find questions
of illegitimacy and "outsiders" addressed.
 
John Drakakis
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James P. Saeger <
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Date:           Tuesday, 27 Sep 1994 11:43:47 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 5.0751 Bastards/Outsiders
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0751 Bastards/Outsiders
 
As I am wrapping up my dissertation on bastards and bastardy, I wanted to
second Melissa Aaron's fascination with the subject.  I also wanted to add that
while bastards do in part "serve as a tool to voice fears about out-of-control
sexuality and a consequent threat to inheritance," it's important to make some
distinctions about these fears/threats.
 
The category of "out-of-control" sexuality is not one to be taken at face
value.  It is a heavily class- and gender-bound concept in which the culturally
empowered use such ideological constructions as morality, economic entitlement,
and "family values" to control and demonize the disempowered--i.e., poor women
& especially poor single mothers.  As my language indicates, we can see the
currency of many of the same issues in our own (USA, at least) political
climate.
 
Also, the "threat to inheritance" is born of some of the same issues of
ideological control.  Since bastards are primarily associated with their
mothers, any claim to inheritance by bastards (eg., Edmund and Spurio, among
others) threatens the patriachalism founded on hierarchical among others)
threatens the patriachalism founded on hierarchical distinctions between
legitimate & illegitimate, father & mother, etc.
 
That said, I think dramatic characterizations of bastards certainly do provide
excellent "outsiders" for study.
 
 James P. Saeger
 
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