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Volpone's BastardsTheorising Jonson's City Comedy$
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Isaac Hui

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474423472

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474423472.001.0001

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‘The case appears too liquid’: The Two Sides of Androgyno

‘The case appears too liquid’: The Two Sides of Androgyno

(p.73) Chapter 4 ‘The case appears too liquid’: The Two Sides of Androgyno
Volpone's Bastards

Isaac Hui

Edinburgh University Press

Drawing attention to the subplot of Lady Would-be, the chapter untangles the differences between the androgyne and the hermaphrodite with the use of Freud and Lacan, comparing Volpone with The Symposium, Metamorphoses, Twelfth Night and Epicoene, demonstrating the two meanings of being an androgyne in Jonson. While it is suggested that fools ‘are the only nation / worth men’s envy or admiration’ (1.2.66-67), this chapter argues that Jonson’s androgyne is more like a eunuch, which can be read as an unconscious slip on the part of the dramatist.

Keywords:   Androgyny, Hermaphrodite, Epicene, Plato, Ovid, Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Epicoene

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