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Performing Disobedience: Domestic Transgressions and Political Transformation in Elizabeth Cary’s The Tragedy of Mariam

Author:

Rebeca Gualberto Valverde

Universidad Complutense de Madrid, ES
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Abstract

The aim of this article is to probe instances of dramatic self-construction through the performance of disobedience as enacted by the female protagonists of Elizabeth Cary’s The Tragedy of Mariam, critically exploring, in close relation to one another, Mariam’s changing self-presentation from public loquacity to purposeful stoic silence, and Salome’s transgression of the sex-gender system. As will be argued, these two performances of female subjectivity trigger a current of social change by destabilizing the naturalized patriarchal authority that sustains political order. For, as it will be explored, the public self-construction of feminine identities in Cary’s play—mostly through the utterance of a public speech—creates a dramatic and textual space in which rebellious and transformative notions of female selfhood can negotiate the timely tensions between moral permanence and political change.
How to Cite: Gualberto Valverde, R., 2020. Performing Disobedience: Domestic Transgressions and Political Transformation in Elizabeth Cary’s The Tragedy of Mariam. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 19(1), pp.205–223.
Published on 24 Jun 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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