Abstract

Abstract:

In the early modern period, Medea functioned as a microcosm of anxiety about the role of women in the educational process: figured as the frightening mother that schoolboys were invited to abandon in the schoolroom, she also was used there as a rhetorical model. This essay argues that The Merchant of Venice—a play that has more references to the Medea story than any other by Shakespeare—negotiates this apparent contradiction. By providing his marginalized characters with rhetorical prowess, Shakespeare both invests them with power—clearly evident in Portia—and mitigates their threat by rendering it intelligible, as with Shylock.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 323-345
Launched on MUSE
2020-07-02
Open Access
No
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