• “Thou Map of Woe”: Mapping the Feminine in Titus Andronicus and King Lear

    Author(s):
    Sharon Emmerichs (see profile)
    Date:
    2016
    Subject(s):
    British literature, Landscape architecture, Shakespeare
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    ecocriticism, feminist criticism
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6RM39
    Abstract:
    In this article, I claim that Shakespeare moves beyond the archetypal early modern definitions of land, and the maps that represent it, as benefitting from masculine intervention and argue that he envisions unnecessary masculine interventions regarding the performativity of the feminine in terms of landscape and cartography to be harmful to both the perpetrator and object of the intervention. He acknowledges that there is a connection between how his male characters—specifically, fathers—define their nations and their daughters, but warns that demonstrating a lack of trust or understanding in the agency of women and attempting to overwrite them the way boundaries are changed on a map results in tragedy for all involved. I use Judith Butler’s concept of the performativity of gender to demonstrate that such masculine interventions often cannot differentiate between normative and subversive acts, which compounds the dangers of such interferences. Using both his early and later plays, specifically Titus Andronicus and The Tragedy of King Lear, I show that Shakespeare portrays the desire to treat women as territories or blank maps and to deny his female characters the ability to make their own choices as problematic and dangerous.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    5 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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