Fairies, Fractions Women, and the Old Faith: Fairy Lore in Early Modern British Drama and Culture (Hardback)Regina Buccola
Hardback Published: 01/07/2006
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Fairies, unruly women, and vestigial Catholicism constituted a frequently invoked triad in late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century drama which has seldom been critically examined and therefore constitutes a significant lacuna in scholarly treatments of early modern theater, including the work of Shakespeare. Fairy tradition has lost out in scholarly critical convention to the more masculine mythologies of Christianity and classical Greece and Rome, in which female deities either serve masculine gods or are themselves masculinized (i.e., Diana as a buckskinned warrior). However, the fairy tradition is every bit as significant in our critical attempts to situate early modern texts in their historical contexts as the references to classical texts and struggles associated with state-mandated religious beliefs are widely agreed to be. "Fairies, Fractious Women, and the Old Faith" examines the ways in which the fairy, rebellious woman, quasi-Catholic trio repeatedly stages resistance to early modern conceptions of appropriate class and gender conduct and state-mandated religion in "A Midsummer Night's Dream", "The Merry Wives of Windsor", "Cymbeline", "All's Well That Ends Well", and Ben Jonson's "The Alchemist".
Publisher: Associated University Presses