Abstract

Abstract:

This article argues that Jane Shore, Edward IV's mistress in Thomas Heywood's history play, The First and Second Parts of King Edward IV, becomes a figure of chronical history through the way her speech acts of petitions and pardons are read as politically efficacious. In separating her performative speech from her identity as a woman, commoner, and mistress, Jane transcends both her moral and social status in ways not seen in the ballad or dramatic traditions that predate Heywood's play. Instead, Jane's words achieve a political authority even beyond those of the king, effacing her former status and recrafting—and perhaps limiting—her identity in the process.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 299-322
Launched on MUSE
2020-07-02
Open Access
No
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