Engendering a Nation: A Feminist Account of Shakespeare's English Histories

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This text adopts a feminist analysis to examine the place of gender in contesting representations of nationhood in early modern England. Taking the Shakespearean history play as their point fo departure, the authors argue that the change from dynastic kingdom to modern nation was integrally connected to shifts in cultural understandings of gender, and in the social roles available to men and women. The cultural centrality of the Elizabethan theatre made it an important arena for staging the diverse and contradictory elements of this transition. Plays featured include: King John; Henry VI, Part I; Henry VI, Part II; Henry VI, Part III; Richard III; Richard II; and Henry V.

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About the author (1997)

Professor Phyllis Rackin has taught Shakespeare at the University of Pennsylvania for forty years. A former President of the Shakespeare Association of America, she has published three books on Shakespeare as well as numerous scholarly articles on Shakespeare and related subjects in anthologies and
in such journals as PMLA, Shakespeare Quarterly, and Shakespeare-Jahrbuch. Her awards include an ACLS fellowship and a Lindback award for distinguished teaching.

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