Comedy, Youth, Manhood in Early Modern England

Comedy, Youth, Manhood in Early Modern EnglandIra Clark

University of Delaware Press, 2003
ISBN: 0874138280

Comedy, Youth, Manhood in Early Modern England examines from a social and historical perspective Renaissance comic stage presentations of the conflicting imperatives young men faced in trying to win manhood. Its chapters focus on the importance of marriage as entry to manhood, on satires of academies of conduct with eulogies of plays as models of conduct, on the plight of younger brothers forced to seek support because the family’s resources were willed to the elder, on their fantasy of gaining manhood by marrying a wealthy, sexy widow, and on their real dilemma over choosing whether or not to duel when both attractions and dissuasions remained entangled and conflicted. The book reads Tudor-Stuart comedies in order to illuminate the problems and promises of achieving manhood because comedies permit public scrutiny of what might seem inhibitingly painful or irresoluble and of nuances that might go unregistered by the data and contemporary documents employed in social and gender histories.

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