Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Ovid and Adaptation in Early Modern English Theatre$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Lisa S. Starks

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474430067

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474430067.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Queer Gender Informants in Ovid and Shakespeare

Queer Gender Informants in Ovid and Shakespeare

(p.21) Chapter 1 Queer Gender Informants in Ovid and Shakespeare
Ovid and Adaptation in Early Modern English Theatre

Simone Chess

Edinburgh University Press

How might queer moments in Ovid be in conversation with Shakespeare? This essay pairs three queer Ovidian characters-- Tiresias, Caenis/Caenus, and Iphis-- with three Shakespearean characters-- Mardian the eunuch from Antony and Cleopatra, Portia/Balthazar from Merchant of Venice, and Viola/Cesario from Twelfth Night. Functioning more as rhizomatic associations than direct adaptations, these pairings show that Shakespeare uses Ovidian strategies in positioning his eunuch and crossdressing characters as code switchers who are especially poised to make crucial judgements and give critical insights. Through the juxtapositions of textual queerness, I find that Shakespeare, in the tradition of and seemingly in conversation with, Ovid staged nonbinary characters as queer gender informants whose insights and experiences add value to the plays.

Keywords:   queer, gender, informant, eunuch, cross-dressing, Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night

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.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

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.