Abstract

This paper examines representations of virgins and pregnant women in early modern drama showing how perceptions of the feminine based on biblical representations, witchcraft, and the connection between women and nature influenced the early modern mind. Virgins who appear in Robert Greene's Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay, Anthony Munday's The Book of John a Kent and John a Cumber, Thomas Middleton's The Witch, and William Rowley's The Birth of Merlin are examined alongside Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale. The pregnant women in The Winter's Tale and The Birth of Merlin are held in contrast to illustrate the power women wield at transformative stages in their lives. From liminal spaces these women mystify the rigidities of patriarchal society.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 427-444
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-27
Open Access
No
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