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Humanities 2018, 7(4), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7040117

“I Shall Endeavor for Her Aims”: Women’s Alliances and Relational Figurations of Freedom

Department of English, William Jewell College, Liberty, MO 64068, USA
Received: 30 June 2018 / Revised: 1 November 2018 / Accepted: 8 November 2018 / Published: 14 November 2018
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Abstract

In oppressive cultures that marginalize various identity positions, a woman might find it difficult to imagine herself as autonomous or capable of self-definition. Forging alliances with other women offers opportunities for self-discovery, transformation, and autonomous agency. Considering Queen Elizabeth’s correspondence with Safiye Sultana and Phillip Massinger’s The Renegado, this essay argues that tropes of seeing, achieved either through material images or through vivid discursive descriptions, foster imaginative renderings of the possibilities of self-expression and agency. Both cases, one diplomatic and the other dramatic, demonstrate successful—even though temporary and politically motivated—alliances mediated through both patriarchal constraints and material markers of identity. Drawing on these epistolary and dramatic texts, this essay explores tropes of imaginative seeing, the materiality of identity, and physical spaces that enact women’s alliances invested in questions of women’s freedom across tributaries both political and dramatic. View Full-Text
Keywords: early modern literature; gender; women; power early modern literature; gender; women; power
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Morrison, S. “I Shall Endeavor for Her Aims”: Women’s Alliances and Relational Figurations of Freedom. Humanities 2018, 7, 117.

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