Woman as Individual in English Renaissance Drama: A Defiance of the Masculine Code

By Carol Hansen | Go to book overview

Notes
1.
John Dover Wilson, Shakespeare's Happy Comedies ( Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1962), 161.
2.
R. Warwick Bond, Early Plays from the Italian ( 1911; rpt. New York: Benjamin Bloom), xxxix-xl).
3.
Craig, Works of Shakespeare, 504.
4.
W. H. Auden, "Belmont and Venice," in The Dyer's Hand and Other Essays ( New York: Random House, 1962), 234.
5.
Helen Gardner, "As You Like It," in More Talking of Shakespeare, ed. John Garrett ( London: Longmans, Green, 1959), 17-32.
6.
H. B. Charlton, Shakespearian Comedy ( 1938; rpt. London: Methuen, 1966), pp. 285-6. Charlton says further that "Perhaps it was primarily because Shakespeare found women more sensitive to intuition and more responsive to emotion that he first promoted them to dominion in the realm of comedy. He found, moreover, in their instincts a kind of finely developed mother-wit, a variety of humanized common sense which, because it was impregnated with humane feeling, was more apt to lay hold of the essential realities of existence than was the more rarified and isolated intellect of man" (286).
7.
In his introduction to the play in The Riverside Shakespeare, Hallett Smith comments on the literary roots of the wager. "The first dramatic development in Cymbeline, after the banishment of Posthumus, is the wager on the question of Imogen's fidelity to her husband. This popular motif, widespread in medieval literature, is best known as the ninth story of the second day in Boccaccio Decameron. No English translation was available to Shakespeare, but he could have read the tale in French rendering, if not in Italina; he certainly read the English translation of a German version of it called Frederick of Jennen. Modern critics have often found the situation a distasteful one, for as W. W. Lawrence says, 'Nowadays we feel that to give a villain a chance to attempt to seduce one's wife, for the sake of proving to him and to others her unassailable chastity, would be the height of folly, and of cruelty to her. But the Middle Ages thought otherwise; they believed that virtue exaggerated, as it seems to us, beyond reason, was a virtue magnified.' Accordingly, the character of Posthumus should be viewed in a chivalric context, and his behavior, up to the time he is deceived by the villain Jachimo, considered fully worthy of the high reputation he enjoys in Britain and abroad" ( 1518). Perhaps, but I think, as I have

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Woman as Individual in English Renaissance Drama: A Defiance of the Masculine Code
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements v
  • Preface vii
  • Table of Contents ix
  • I - Introduction 1
  • Notes 9
  • II - The Masculine Code 11
  • Notes 80
  • III - Speaking Daggers: A Study of Male Rage 83
  • Notes 105
  • IV - The Defiant Woman 107
  • Notes 161
  • V - Woman as Actor 163
  • Notes 182
  • VI - Epilogue 185
  • A Selected Bibliography 205
  • Index 213
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