Theatricality of Mary Wroth's 'Pamphilia to Amphilanthus' [The]: Unmasking Conventions in Context

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1st Edition

240 x 160 mm. 278pp ... [In stock in Australia, for immediate delivery]

Positioning Mary Wroth's sonnet sequence Pamphilia to Amphilanthus against works by Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, and Ben Jonson, this study places the seemingly anomalous work within the context of the period. Importantly, this study also explores Wroth's use of masque conventions, concluding that the ending sections of Wroth's sequence comprise a preperformance text of two masques, each with a preceding grotesque antimasque.

Differing significantly from Wroth critics, this rereading argues for Wroth's use of male genre conventions which challenge the 'virtuous constancy' dominating Renaissance concepts of the ideal woman. Through Wroth's use of theatricality and irony we are entangled and become participants in her 'theatre of desire', a display of stark sexuality, lurid violence, and masochism.

In addition, the book explores Wroth's use of masque conventions which question patriarchal power and social institutions. Once we realise the extent of Wroth's adherence to masque conventions, that the last two sections of Pamphilia to Amphilanthus are in actuality a double masque, the sonnets become performance, an idiom within which jealousy, desire, sadomasochism, and voyeurism become conflated and enacted in a world of real lovers and courtiers.

Susan Lauffer O'Hara is Associate Professor of English at Georgian Court University.
^ Literary Criticism ^


SKU 9781575911571
Barcode # 9781575911571
Brand AUP
Artist / Author Susan Lauffer O'HARA

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