Item Details

Print View

Hell's Belles: The Witch, Social Deviance, and Gender Performativity on the Jacobean Stage

Smith, Khristian
Format
Thesis/Dissertation; Online
Author
Smith, Khristian
Advisor
Maus, Katharine
Abstract
Scholarship regarding the language and imagery of witchcraft on the Tudor and Jacobean stage has covered a variety of topics read through a plethora of critical lenses. The witch has been argued to be everything from an exemplum of anti-feminine behaviors to a representative for the Catholics lying outside of and dwelling surreptitiously within Reformed England, waiting to overturn it. However, no examination of witchcraft in Jacobean drama has yet to synthesize these accounts in a way that explains why the witch appealed to English dramatists in the early seventeenth century. This thesis claims that the character of the witch appeals to Jacobean dramatists because she is inherently deviant, particularly religiously and politically deviant, and unrestrained by authority. The very elements which make the Early Modern witch fearsome and deplorable (unrestrained sexuality, unchecked glorification of vengeance, anti-establishment, self-empowerment, and chaos) make her a worthy theatrical subject for playwrights whose jobs are to make spectacles.
Language
English
Published
University of Virginia, Department of English, MA (Master of Arts), 2017
Published Date
2017-04-30
Degree
MA (Master of Arts)
Rights
CC-BY (permitting free use with proper attribution)
Collection
Libra ETD Repository

Availability

Read Online