• Scent of a Woman: Performing the Politics of Smell in Late Medieval and Early Modern England

    Author(s):
    Holly Dugan (see profile)
    Date:
    2008
    Subject(s):
    Sensory representations in literature, Shakespeare and early modern drama, Medieval drama, Gender and sexualities, Performance
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Twelfth Night, Olfaction, smell, digby Mary Magdalene
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6XG4V
    Abstract:
    Olfaction has not figured largely in scholarly or popular understanding of early English stages; as stage properties, scents have rarely impacted the critical work on late medieval or early modern material histories of the stage, no doubt due to the assumption that olfaction lacks both a history and an archive. Nonetheless, for late medieval and early modern men and women, olfaction was a key component of theatrical experience. Three examples of late medieval and early modern English drama underscore this point: the Digby Mary Magdalene, and Shakespeare's Antony & Cleopatra and Twelfth Night. Tracing the use of perfume as a theatrical trope in these plays, I argue that reading late medieval drama's saintly and sinful bodily odors alongside early modern drama's emphasis on gender as a sartorial practice enhances our understanding of how social differences materialized on England's sixteenth-century stages."
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    1 year ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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