Shakespeare and Masculinity
Oxford University Press, 2000 - 182 pages
Richard III, Romeo, Prince Harry, Malvolio, Hamlet, Lear, Antony, Coriolanus, Prospero: Shakespeare's roster of male protagonists is astonishingly various. Shakespeare and Masculinity juxtaposes these memorable characters with the medical beliefs, ethical ideals, and social realities that shaped masculine identity for Shakespeare, as for his fellow actors and their audiences. At the same time it explores the process of male self-definition against various sorts of others--women, foreigners, social inferiors, sodomites. Reflecting the truth that the plays' principal existence is in the live theater, the book finishes with a transhistorical, multicultural survey of how masculinity has been performed in productions of Shakespeare's plays--in France, Germany, Hungary, Iraq, Japan, and elsewhere--and with a challenge to imagine masculinity in fuller and more satisfying ways.
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