Murdering Medeas

Finally, a fresh post on this blog. After my enthusiastic posts on the Gunpowder plot, I was absorbed by so much work (and by the latest History carnival, of course) that I did not find the time or the inspiration to write on anything early modern here. My apologies to those who visited and kept finding my scribbles on the assassination of William of Orange lurking at the top of the page!

Tomorrow, I will be off to France to attend a colloquium on women and the literature of early modern England at the University of Valenciennes. My paper is more on gender than on women, I have to admit. “Murdering Medeas: The Gender of Revenge in Late Sixteenth-Century Drama” will focus more on the gender poetics of revenge than on actual women, but that is precisely the point of the paper. For I will argue that the literary stereotype of the murderous Medea in certain plays should be related to early modern debates over the legitimacy of revenge, rather than be read — as feminist critics have done — as reflecting contemporary anxieties over women’s power.


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