Abstract

Abstract:

In early modern England, female grief was considered a far more material state of affect than the counterpart brands of sadness claimed by male scholars. This article explores how seventeenth-century writers dilate the material dimensions of women’s grief by engaging a trope I call “sto(ne)icism.” Both John Webster’s Duchess of Malfi and Hester Pulter’s poetic speaker express their grief in the most concrete of ways: by literally turning to stone in a stubborn show of remembrance for their lost objects. In so doing, I argue, they make out of women’s material mourning a form of lasting melancholy.

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