The essay proposes nine philologically driven strategies for enlivening the transgender capacities circulating in The Roaring Girl. It proposes a trans-hermeneutic for reading the soma-semantics of gender and for seeing the ways in which, at the semantic level, the play refuses to produce classificatory clarifications regarding gender. Methodologically, the essay practices critically kaleidoscopic engagements with the play's gender-expansive figurations, directing attention to the processual and temporally on-going nature of gender non-conformity. Animating the transgender capacities of The Roaring Girl entails both thinking with the period's own logics of gender non-conformity and reexamining the utility and limitations of past scholarly evocations of hermaphroditism as an epistemological framework for characterizing the titular character. The article concludes with a re-reading of the triangulated kissing scene, arguing that it directs attention to as-yet open questions regarding trans-erotics on the early modern stage, and that silent editorial interventions have risked blunting transgender capacity on the printed page.


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pp. 45-74
Launched on MUSE
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