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” (
, 1.3.292–293)
warn Othello about the changing nature of female lo
yalty and
women’s potential for deviancy. Closely examining d
caught in the conflict between anxious fathers and
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
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
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 Discrete 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: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Humanities
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Nicoleta Cinpoes
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2012 15:07
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 16:56

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.