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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: January ::
Re: Cross-Dressing
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0072.  Friday, 26 January 1996.

(1)     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Thursday, 25 Jan 1996 21:28:30 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0066  Re: Cross-Dressing

(2)     From:   Maria I Gonzalez <
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        Date:   Thursday, 25 Jan 1996 18:21:11 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0066  Re: Cross-Dressing


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Thursday, 25 Jan 1996 21:28:30 +0000
Subject: 7.0066  Re: Cross-Dressing
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0066  Re: Cross-Dressing

Stephanie Hughes comments

> Cross dressing was acceptable in the English renaissance theater in a way it
> isn't with us today, because the deepest and most compelling source of the
> renaissance theater was the revels of folk tradition, the mumming and
> "disguising" that took place at all festival seasons, the winter and summer
> solstices and numerous other lesser "pagan" and Church holidays.

Whilst not wishing to deny the importance of the sources Hughes mentions, isn't
the anxiety about cross dressing in Elizabethan plays indicative of a wider
anxiety about social order, which makes this phenomenon quite distinct from
medieval saturnalia? As regards "us today", isn't cross dressing still very
much alive in popular entertainment? I'm thinking of the theatre of pantomime
and also drag shows. The recent film 'Priscilla, Queen of the Desert' was
hugely successful, and acceptable to many audiences and critics, despite its
very overt misogyny.

Gabriel Egan

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Maria I Gonzalez <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 25 Jan 1996 18:21:11 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0066  Re: Cross-Dressing
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0066  Re: Cross-Dressing

Also, I don't know if anyone else has mentioned this to you but there is a
great book written by Jean Howard entitled Stage and Social Struggle in Early
Modern England which devotes a chapter to crossdressing and should have some
interesting bibliography.
 

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