University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Defrauding Daughters Turning Deviant Wives? Reading Female Agency in The Merchant of Venice

Cinpoes, Nicoleta (2011) Defrauding Daughters Turning Deviant Wives? Reading Female Agency in The Merchant of Venice. SEDERI: Yearbook of the Spanish and Portuguese Society for English Renaissance Studies, 21. pp. 133-146. ISSN 1135-7789

SEDERI_21_7_cinpoes.pdf - Published Version

Download (129kB) | Preview


Brabantio’s words “Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see:| She has deceived her father, and may thee” ( Othello , 1.3.292–293) warn Othello about the changing nature of female lo yalty and women’s potential for deviancy. Closely examining d aughters caught in the conflict between anxious fathers and husbands-to- be, this article departs from such paranoid male fa ntasy and instead sets out to explore female deviancy in its legal and dramatic implications with reference to Shakespeare ’s The Merchant of Venice . I will argue that Portia’s and Jessica’s struggle to evade male subsidiarity results in their conscio us positioning themselves on the verge of illegality. Besides occa sioning productive exploration of marriage, law and justice within what Morss (2007:183) terms “the dynamics of human desir e and of social institutions,” I argue that female agency, s een as temporary deviancy and/or self-exclusion, reconfigures the ma le domain by affording the inclusion of previous outsiders (Anto nio, Bassanio and Lorenzo) .

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

The full-text can be accessed via the Official URL.

Uncontrolled Keywords: The Merchant of Venice, commodity/ commodification, subsidiarity, bonds/binding, marriage code versus friendship, code, defrauding, deviancy, agency, conveyancing, (self)exclusion
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Humanities and Creative Arts
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Nicoleta Cinpoes
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2012 15:07
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2016 09:09

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item
Worcester Research and Publications is powered by EPrints 3 which is developed by the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton. More information and software credits.