Poster or Presentation Title

Men Having a Fit: A Study of Masculine Identity Through Clothing in Early Modern Drama

Location

Virtual | Room 2

Access Type

Open Access

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

7-4-2021 2:30 PM

End Date

7-4-2021 2:45 PM

Department

English

Abstract

This research aims to discover the intricate links between gender identity, masculine performance, and clothing in Early Modern Drama. Specifically, this research is crafted through a critical lens that blends queer theory, gender theory, and masculinity studies. The scholarly articles used will cover theory as well as literary criticism surrounding William Shakespeare’s romances and tragedies. From this research, masculine identities are shown to be performed and heavily based on clothing in the Early Modern era. Clothing is simultaneously used to uphold and undermine masculine identities. Its intricate link to performance in both drama and societal superstructures creates a blending of masculine identity, thus breaking down not only gendered structures but class structures as well. This is due to societal superstructure placing the white, heterosexual, wealthy man on the top. When even this man is shown to blend with other men, it creates a dynamic where these intersections of power break down. If he does not experience individuality in power, then no one else below him would fit into their structures anymore.

This may help future scholars working within drama, as it will hopefully show how gender is a consistent performative act with clothing. This thesis may also interest scholars working with feminine theory in Shakespeare’s works, as they may use it as a counterpart study.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Robin Bates
Dr. Beth Savage
Dr. Laura Kicklighter

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Apr 7th, 2:30 PM Apr 7th, 2:45 PM

Men Having a Fit: A Study of Masculine Identity Through Clothing in Early Modern Drama

Virtual | Room 2

This research aims to discover the intricate links between gender identity, masculine performance, and clothing in Early Modern Drama. Specifically, this research is crafted through a critical lens that blends queer theory, gender theory, and masculinity studies. The scholarly articles used will cover theory as well as literary criticism surrounding William Shakespeare’s romances and tragedies. From this research, masculine identities are shown to be performed and heavily based on clothing in the Early Modern era. Clothing is simultaneously used to uphold and undermine masculine identities. Its intricate link to performance in both drama and societal superstructures creates a blending of masculine identity, thus breaking down not only gendered structures but class structures as well. This is due to societal superstructure placing the white, heterosexual, wealthy man on the top. When even this man is shown to blend with other men, it creates a dynamic where these intersections of power break down. If he does not experience individuality in power, then no one else below him would fit into their structures anymore.

This may help future scholars working within drama, as it will hopefully show how gender is a consistent performative act with clothing. This thesis may also interest scholars working with feminine theory in Shakespeare’s works, as they may use it as a counterpart study.