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Humanities 2019, 8(1), 6;

Sour Beer at the Boar’s Head: Salvaging Shakespeare’s Alewife, Mistress Quickly

Department of English, Meredith College, Raleigh, NC 27607, USA
Received: 14 November 2018 / Revised: 28 December 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 9 January 2019
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Using William Shakespeare’s character Mistress Nell Quickly as an example, this article contends that familiarity with both the literary tradition of alewives and the historical conditions in which said literary tradition brewed aids in revising our interpretation of working-class women on the early modern stage. Mistress Quickly, the multi-faceted comic character in three history plays and a city-comedy, resembles closely those women with whom Shakespeare and his contemporaries would have lived and worked in their day-to-day lives. Rather than dismissing her role as minor or merely comic, as previous criticism largely has, scholarship can embrace this character type and her narrative as an example to complicate teleological progressions for women. View Full-Text
Keywords: Mistress Nell Quickly; Alewives; William Shakespeare Mistress Nell Quickly; Alewives; William Shakespeare
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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Romanelli, C. Sour Beer at the Boar’s Head: Salvaging Shakespeare’s Alewife, Mistress Quickly. Humanities 2019, 8, 6.

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