"Will you to my discourse vouchsafe an eare?" : women dramatists' negotiation of gender and genre on the public stage around 1700

Marguérite Corporaal


Despite the growing influence of women in the theatrical world during the late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century, women dramatists working for the public stage were accused of lascivious behaviour, as a result of the public setting of the playhouse in which their self-expression could be heard. In their tragedies The Royal Mischief (1696), The Fatal Friendship (1698) and Antiochus the Great; or, The Final Relapse (1701) the female dramatists Mary Delarivier Manley, Catherine Trotter and Jane Wiseman negotiated female utterance in several ways. Moreover, these women dramatists' legitimisation of woman's public voice and their own public theatrical voices was accompanied by their revision of tragic generic conventions concerning error, closure, transgression and transcendence. In these respects these women playwrights contributed to processes of cultural transformation with regard to gender and genre.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18172/jes.86

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© Universidad de La Rioja, 2013

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