Between men and between women: homosocial bonds in Shakespeare's, Heywood's, and Middleton's Lucretia narratives

Jones, Diana (2015) Between men and between women: homosocial bonds in Shakespeare's, Heywood's, and Middleton's Lucretia narratives. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Considerable research focuses on the ways in which Shakespeare’s The Rape of Lucrece (1594) depicts the destructive nature of emulative male homosocial bonds and challenges the early modern English attitude that male-male friendship is virtuous and idyllic. As effectively as Shakespeare’s poem makes this critique, Thomas Heywood’s The Rape of Lucrece (1607) and Thomas Middleton’s The Ghost of Lucrece (1627) provide stronger parodies of ideal same-sex friendship and open up new possibilities for exploring how these competitive relationships harm women and how women themselves construct samesex relations. This thesis builds upon existing scholarship on homosociality in Shakespeare’s poem and draw attention to the significant contribution that Heywood’s and Middleton’s lesser-known texts make to studies of early modern homosocial bonds. This project reveals how, in the three Lucretia narratives, both men and women are involved in rivalrous same-sex friendships, however; because of the female characters’ common need to protect themselves from patriarchal threats, the bonds between women are notably stronger than the bonds between men.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 9809
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 81-85).
Keywords: Homosocial bonds, Gender theory, William Shakespeare, Thomas Heywood, Thomas Middleton, Early Modern literature
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: August 2015
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Rape of Lucrece; Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Characters--Men; Male friendship in literature; Thomas Heywood approximately 1574-1641--Rape of Lucrece; Thomas Middleton, -1627--Ghost of Lucrece

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