This chapter argues that it is time to rethink the two dominant scholarly models for conceptualizing early modern gender and social hierarchies in Shakespeare’s England: 1) the triangular relationship between men, women, and boys emphasized in recent scholarly explorations of early modern sexuality and sexual difference and 2) the division of the female life cycle into the categories ‘maid,’ ‘wife,’ and ‘widow.’ Although both of these triads had significant cultural currency in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the category of the ‘girl’ exposes their limitations, disrupting the reified female identity categories on which both models were based.
Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.