Performance, Performativity, and Identity in Margaret Cavendish’s The Convent of Pleasure

@article{Kellett2008PerformancePA,
  title={Performance, Performativity, and Identity in Margaret Cavendish’s The Convent of Pleasure},
  author={Katherine R. Kellett},
  journal={SEL Studies in English Literature 1500-1900},
  year={2008},
  volume={48},
  pages={419 - 442}
}
Critics of Margaret Cavendish’s The Convent of Pleasure frequently tackle the question of the play’s genre, debating whether it is a stage play or a closet drama. Yet when the play is examined through theories of performativity, the clear distinction between the two categories becomes less clear. Through the play’s rapidly shifting spaces and the characters’ varying gender and sexual identities, the play highlights the instability of all performing bodies, material or not. The play also reveals… 
9 Citations

Playing with Margaret Cavendish and Mary Wroth: Staging Early Modern Women’s Dramatic Romances for Modern Audiences

On March 28, 2014, the New Perspectives Theatre Company presented a staged reading of Margaret Cavendish’s The Convent of Pleasure — as part of their “On Her Shoulders” series — before a select

Performing Women’s Speech in Early Modern Drama: Troubling Silence, Complicating Voice

Performing Women’s Speech in Early Modern Drama: Troubling Silence, Complicating Voice. (August 2010) Beverly Marshall Van Note, B.A., University of Texas at San Antonio; M.A., Abilene Christian

"We shall discover our Selves": Practicing the Mermaid's Law in Margaret Cavendish's The Convent of Pleasure

Near the conclusion of The Convent of Pleasure (1668), Margaret Cavendish presents her audience with a series of intricately staged interplays or vignettes. The longest of these depicts The Princess

“Treble marriage”: Margaret Cavendish, William Newcastle, and Collaborative Authorship

Margaret Cavendish’s publications abound with her claims to individuality as a thinker and as a writer, yet her husband, William, Duke of Newcastle, appears throughout these works as a teacher, a

Confessional disputes in the republic of letters: Susan Du Verger and Margaret Cavendish

ABSTRACT The starting point of this article is an understudied piece of critical exegesis from 1657 titled Humble Reflections Upon Some Passages of the Right Honorable the Lady Marchionesse of

“[A] Woman hath no … Reason to desire Children for her Own Sake”: Margaret Cavendish Reads Lee Edelman

Recent interventions in queer theory, in particular the so-called antisocial thesis, challenge the politics of seeking gay acceptance from mainstream culture. Taking aim at movements like the Human

“A place for freedom”: Felicidad femenina en The Convent of Pleasure de Margaret Cavendish (1668)

espanolThe Convent of Pleasures (1668) es un closet drama de Margaret Cavendish, Duquesa de Newcastle (1627-1674) literata, filosofa y pionera de la divulgacion cientifica cuya trama se centra en la

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 49 REFERENCES

“The play is ready to be acted”: women and dramatic production, 1570-1670

Abstract In this article, the authors draw on their experiences of staging plays by early modern women to refute the classification of such texts as unperformable “closet drama”. The theatrical

“Our wits joined as in matrimony”: Margaret Cavendish's Playes and the Drama of Authority

A R G A R E T Cavendish is a difficult playwright for critics, feminist or otherwise, to deal with. Her playwriting has been taken by some as evidence of the new prominence women gained after the

Margaret Cavendish's Dramatic Utopias and the Politics of Gender

In a 1663 epistle addressed to scholars at Oxford and Cambridge, Margaret Cavendish compares herself and her female counterparts to "[b]irds in cages... [that]... hop up and down in our houses, not

Convents and Pleasures: Margaret Cavendish and the Drama of Property

Cavendish wrote a play entitled The Convent of Pleasure. 1 The title of the play is seemingly paradoxical: a convent is a place of ascetic retreat; pleasures, the earthly enjoyments that one

The politics of feminine retreat in Margaret Cavendish's the female academy and the convent of pleasure

Abstract This article questions the notion that Cavendish's female communities in these plays are autonomously-imagined feminist Utopias or that their emphasis on withdrawal from society constitutes

"The Convent of Pleasure" and Other Plays

Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle (1623-1673), until recently remembered more as a flamboyant eccentric than as a serious writer, was in fact the most prolific, thought-provoking, and original

Authorial Conquests: Essays on Genre in the Writings of Margaret Cavendish

This collection of essays by leading scholars offers the first substantial study of Margaret Cavendish's innovative use of genre and tries to render justice to her extraordinary authorial ambition.

Drama, Performativity, and Performance

  • W. B. Worthen
  • Art
    PMLA/Publications of the Modern Language Association of America
  • 1998
There is a crisis in drama studies that is reflected in the ways different disciplines understand dramatic texts and performance. Literary studies, absorbed with the functioning of language, often

Reading the Stage: Margaret Cavendish and Commonwealth Closet Drama

"Utterly undramatic," "without an atom of dramatic power," "un stageable": these are characteristic pronouncements on Margaret Cav endish's plays, and, as the negative constructions suggest, they

Paper bodies : a Margaret Cavendish reader

Margaret Cavendish was one of the most subversive and entertaining writers of the seventeenth century. She invented new genres, challenged gender roles, and critiqued the new science as well as the