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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: April ::
Re: Elizabeth
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0624  Tuesday, 6 April 1999.

[1]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Monday, 05 Apr 1999 13:47:24 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0607 Re: Elizabeth

[2]     From:   Frank Whigham <
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        Date:   Monday, 05 Apr 1999 14:14:10 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0607 Re: Elizabeth


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Monday, 05 Apr 1999 13:47:24 +0000
Subject: 10.0607 Re: Elizabeth
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0607 Re: Elizabeth

Karen writes:

>Many feminists have pointed out
>that men can discount any display of female anger by labeling it
>"hysteria," and then doubly discount the woman by asserting that the
>cure for her "hysteria" is sex with a male.

I just wanted to add to Karen's note that this precise cure is invoked
for the jailer's daughter in Two Noble Kinsmen:  "Please her appetite /
And do it home: it cures her ipso facto / The melancholy humor that
infects her" (5.2.35-37).  Clifford Leech, in his introduction to the
Signet, attributes this scene to Fletcher.  Nevertheless, it shows how
widely spread the explanation for female madness was.  It also, in my
humble opinion, sheds some light on Elizabeth's difficulty ruling in a
patriarchal age, if even her anger could be dismissed by the men around
her as sexual frustration.

Cheers,
Se

 

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