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’s class. This becomes important in movies. Theatre was tenuously exempted from these laws except in the eyes of hard-line Puritans: The stage was a privileged site of transgression, in which two kinds of transvestism were permitted to players: changes of costume that violated edicts against wearing the clothing of the

in Shakespeare’s cinema of love
A methodological induction

transposes onto young warriors’ dying bodies the purpureus and the niveus of a young girl’s blushing skin, with the effect of eroticising and feminising a young man’s death on the battlefield as an image of defloration. 27 In his unfinished Achilleid , it is in the story of Achilles’s transvestism that Statius blends Virgilian epic, Ovidian witty playfulness and Pindaric lyricism. When the Greeks

in Interweaving myths in Shakespeare and his contemporaries

-skirted governess’ was ‘an exercise in suppressed camp’, while Bryden saw ‘straight if muted camping: a comic performance based on recognizable masculine imitation of female mannerisms’ (as noted above, this was for Shulman ‘high queerdom’). But while Audrey and Celia could be safely relegated to a zone of comic transvestism where they posed no sexual threat, this was not the case with Richard Kay’s Phoebe. He was

in As You Like It

denounced the practice, usually refusing to make any distinction between transvestism onstage and off. Philip Stubbes, in his comprehensive catalogue of everyday Elizabethan wrongdoing, The Anatomy of Abuses (1583), complains: ‘Our Apparell was given us as a signe distinctive to discern betwixt sex and sex, & therfore one to weare the Apparel of another sex is to participate with the same and to

in As You Like It

exercised by the transvestism of the Elizabethan stage, arguing from both platonic and patristic examples that the wearing of female garments necessarily resulted in an effeminization of the actor’s masculine self, and from that to the corruption of the audience. The self, in such arguments, is the most fragile of entities, acutely permeable by externals. In the context of

in Spectacular Performances
Motherhood and comic narrative

illustrations of social practice, reduce the powerfully conflicting investments of the textual and pictorial representations of Boccaccio’s tale of Griselda’. 30 For a discussion of the representation of the maternal body by boy actors, see Peter Stallybrass, ‘Transvestism and the “Body Beneath”: Speculating on the Boy Actor’, in Erotic Politics

in Mothers and meaning on the early modern English stage

Puppet Dionysius’ to ‘venture the cause on’t’ (5.5.33–7). Idolatrously entering into an argument with a puppet, Busy tells Dionysius that his ‘main argument against you is that you are an abomination; for the male among you putteth on the apparel of the female, and the female of the male’ (5.5.96–8). Busy here refers to one of the central objections to the theatre as an arena which staged transvestism

in Making and unmaking in early modern English drama
Polarized Approaches to Psychology, Poetics, and Patronage

Antonio’s homoerotic bond with Bassanio and by Portia’s use of male transvestism. The biblical subtext provides a smokescreen and justification for the same-sex bond (i.e., the forbidden true love) at the embattled heart of the play. Judith Rosenheim, ‘Allegorical Commentary in The Merchant of Venice ’, Shakespeare Studies , 24 (1996), 156–210, explains how the allegory is

in Shakespeare and Spenser

Two distinct portraits of a ‘fairy queen’ imply contrary views of human nature and contrary aesthetics. In Spenser’s epic a mystic Gloriana draws noble heroes to realise the twelve virtues, perfecting the soul in Godlikeness. In Shakespeare’s comic stage-play a sensually potent Titania evokes a different fairy realm. Directly experienced, her bodily splendor and witty combative speeches arouse desire not just in the privileged but in rude commoners, who commandeer the play’s most engaging scenes. Instead of vying with Spenser’s elite quests for morality in an intellectual heaven-based allegory, Shakespeare views morality in all social classes, the humbler earthy sort matching the more pretentious. Both are ego-driven yet communally civil. This ironic engagement with Spenser’s ‘supreme fiction’ wondrously expands Shakespeare’s own artistry. Equally polarized are the poets’ views of self-love as a touchstone of human psychology. Like Calvin and Luther, Spenser discredits self-love as shameful, both in monarchs like Lucifera and in louts like Braggadocchio, causing Redcrosse’s wretched fall and Guyon’s helpless faint. In contrast, Shakespeare’s characters, noble and vulgar, show a positive form of self-love if carefully managed, as observed by Aristotle, Aquinas, and Primaudaye.

in Renaissance psychologies