Sharing the Light: Feminine Power in Tudor and Stuart Comedy Page: 3
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Tanner, Jane Hinkle, Sharing the Light; Feminine Power
in Tudor and Stuart Comedy. Doctor of Philosophy (English),
May, 1994, 418 pp., works cited, 419 titles; works
consulted, 102 titles.
Studies of the English Renaissance reveal a patriarchal
structure that informed its politics and its literature; and
the drama especially demonstrates a patriarchal response to
what society perceived to be the problem of women's efforts
to grow beyond the traditional medieval view of "good" women
as chaste, silent, and obedient.
Thirteen comedies, whose creation spans roughly the
same time frame as the pamphlet wars of the so-called "woman
controversy," from the mid-sixteenth to the mid-seventeenth
centuries, feature women who have no public power, but who
find opportunities for varying degrees of power in the
private or domestic setting. Early comedies, Ralph Roister
Doister. Gammer Gurton's Needle. The Supposes, and Campaspe,
have representative female characters whose opportunities
for power are limited by class and age. The resolution of
the plot complications are facilitated by the external
influence of male authority. Within the household,
particularly in such "city" comedies as The Merrv Wives of
Windsor and The Shoemakers7 Holiday, women frequently
command a great deal of personal power and are included in
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Tanner, Jane Hinkle. Sharing the Light: Feminine Power in Tudor and Stuart Comedy, dissertation, May 1994; Denton, Texas. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278551/m1/3/: accessed April 22, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .