The Gatekeeper within: Early Modern English Architectural Tropes of Female Consent
AbstractThis essay maps out a constellation of early modern English feminine gatekeeper tropes that represent female sexual consent and imagine a gendered Cartesian dualism. This trope’s inherent mind–body divide grants the female subject’s mind a greater measure of rationality and autonomy from the body than other early modern discourses of feminine virtue, such as humoralism. However, it can also undercut feminine agency in self-regulation by placing all the responsibility and blame on the woman’s mind in cases of sexual harrassment and assault. Hadrian Dorrell’s Avisa, Shakespeare’s Lucrece, Thomas Heywood’s Jane Shore, and Christopher Marlowe’s Hero represent a spectrum of feminine mental complicity in extramarital sex, yet their mental “gatekeepers” are all suspected of failure. Shakespeare’s Juliet and Cressida literalize this gatekeeper trope and render it a material allegory when they negotiate with male suitors at literal portals on stage, a window and a chamber door. Examining the extraordinary pressures put on feminine “gatekeeper” minds in early modern texts allows us to discern contemporary willingness to blame the victims of sexual assault. View Full-Text
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Oh, E. The Gatekeeper within: Early Modern English Architectural Tropes of Female Consent. Humanities 2019, 8, 40.
Oh E. The Gatekeeper within: Early Modern English Architectural Tropes of Female Consent. Humanities. 2019; 8(1):40.Chicago/Turabian Style
Oh, Elisa. 2019. "The Gatekeeper within: Early Modern English Architectural Tropes of Female Consent." Humanities 8, no. 1: 40.
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