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Queer Virgins and Virgin Queans on the Early Modern Stage - Mary Bly

Queer Virgins and Virgin Queans on the Early Modern Stage

By: Mary Bly

Hardcover Published: 1st September 2000
ISBN: 9780198186991
Number Of Pages: 224

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Queer Virgins and Virgin Queans looks at the early modern theater through the lens of obscure and obscene puns--especially "queer" puns, those that carry homoerotic resonances and speak to homoerotic desires. In particular, it resurrects the operations of a small boys' company known as the first Whitefriars, which performed for about nine months in 1607-8. As a group, the plays performed by this company exhibit an unusually dense array of bawdy puns, whose eroticism is extremely interesting, given that the focus of eros is the male body. The laughter recoverable from Whitefriars plays harnesses the pun's inherent doubleness to homoerotic pleasure; in these plays, 'the bawdy hand of the dial' is always 'on the pricke of noone'.

Mary Bly's analysis depends on the nature of punning itself, and the inflections of language and the creativity that marked Whitefriars punsters, with special emphasis on the effect of puns on an audience. What happens to audience members who sit shoulder to shoulder and laugh at homoerotic quibbles? What is the effect of catching a queer pun's double meaning in a group rather than while alone? How can we characterize those auditors, within the convoluted, if fascinating, theories of erotic identity offered by queer theorists?

One is left very much better informed about the boys of Whitefriars and the men who marketed them. Bly's style is swift and sure and her insights into early modern sexual economics shrewd. Any student of role play, cross-dressing or homoerotics in Shakespeare will welcome this work. Years Work in English Studies She offers a Bly-on-the-wall glimpse into the activities of a little-studied company of boy players ... focusing particularly on the high incidence of bawdy puns in the work of their play-writers. Her method is logical, her touch light. Years Work in English Studies Bly is interested in how words construct gendered identities. And her account of current thinking about early-modern gender and sexuality in its fullness and readability is very student-friendly. New Theatre Quarterly

Bawdy Virgins and Queer Punsp. 1
Licence Taken: Borrowed Prurience and the First Whitefriars Companyp. 28
Punning Eroticismsp. 61
Sodomy in the Literary Terrain: Readers and Reading Pleasuresp. 87
Homoerotic Puns and Queer Collaborationsp. 116
Notesp. 146
Works Citedp. 188
Indexp. 207
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198186991
ISBN-10: 0198186991
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 224
Published: 1st September 2000
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.23 x 14.61  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.41