Interrelationship Between Female Rule And Desire English Literature Essay
The purpose of this paper is to research the interrelatedness between female regulation and desire in Marlowes Dido, Queen of Carthage and Webster ‘s The Duchess of Malfi. This geographic expedition takes topographic point in the context of an addition of female regulation in 16th century Europe and the subsequent impact upon male individuality. The statement demonstrates that when confronted with female power and sexual desire, male characters react with utmost force, implementing an overly masculine subjectiveness and homosocial bonds.
A figure of issues are explored in Marlowe ‘s drama, such as the relationship between a queen ‘s ability to govern and to incorporate her sexual desire. This fright was prevailing during Elizabeth ‘s reign and arguably ; Marlowe uses Dido to see the negative effects of Elizabeth ‘s gender. The drama offers an chance to look into female efforts to command world, bastard desire and the menace of adult female to empire.
The work takes a more specific focal point with Webster ‘s drama, paying close attending to the discourses of the gender of widows and cosmetics to look into male reaction to the Duchess ‘ matrimony. A concern for cosmetics was a popular subject in Renaissance literature and the work draws upon the Hagiographas of Philip Stubbes and Thomas Tuke. Overall, this subdivision of the paper is concerned with the interrelatedness between male and female individuality.
The unprecedented rise of female swayers during the 16th century generated a demand to rewrite modern-day political theory to suit female sovereign. In a survey of plants such as Thomas More ‘s Utopia ( 1518 ) , Machiavelli ‘s Discourses ( 1531 ) , and Knox ‘s The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women ( 1558 ) , Jankowski demonstrates that the prevailing attitude of the clip was that adult females were unfit to govern, being socially constructed as subservient and overproduction by passion ( 54-74 ) . The necessity of matrimony to bring forth an inheritor had the possible to put the state under the leading of a foreign prince, whilst many feared that female sovereign could utilize their position to function their personal desires. This paper will research dramatic representations of this quandary through a survey of Christopher Marlowe ‘s Dido, Queen of Carthage ( 1594 ) and John Webster ‘s The Duchess of Malfi ( 1613 ) . The survey will affect an overview of the general perceptual experience of female regulation as dramatised by Marlowe, before a consideration of Webster ‘s incorporation of general stereotypes into his work as a agency of covering with a transgressive adult female. The statement will propose that the negative images of female individuality and gender transmitted by these dramas are created in a context of hyper-masculinity precipitated by female regulation and that ; finally, unstable female individuality must be subsumed by the fixed male topic. hyper-masculinity will mention to male activities, such as the chase of imperium, and misogynous beliefs about the nature of adult females.
Marlowe ‘s chief beginning was Book Four of Virgil ‘s The Aeneid and his work inserts itself into the Renaissance reworking of the Trojan fable to stand for ill will with Spain ( Shepard 53-79 ) . The drama is an geographic expedition of both gender boundaries and failed female regulation, projecting a female sovereign as a supporter who wishes to retain her political power and exist as a private person. Much of the drama focuses upon the castrating consequence of Dido and the menace of her inordinate gender to empire. The first brush between Dido and Aeneas is dominated by the queen ‘s desire to asseverate her power by commanding the individuality and narration of Aeneas. This short scene helps the form of gender public presentation for the balance of the drama, as Dido is dramatised as “ more dynamic and dominant, and therefore more conventionally ‘masculine ‘ ” whilst the Trojan leader develops as “ reticent and inactive and therefore more conventionally ‘feminine ‘ ” ( Deats 168 ) . Aeneas gives Dido the power to make up one’s mind his individuality when he states “ Sometime I was a Trojan, mighty queen/ but Troy is non: what shall I say I am? ” ( II.i.75-6 ) . Dido performs two undertakings in relation to this inquiry: she draws attending to the maleness of the “ militant Aeneas ” ( II.ii.79 ) and casts him in the function of lover by dressing him in the robes of her hubby. The creative activity of Aeneas ‘s new ego involves a reversal of functions: during this period, adult females were dependent upon their relationship with work forces to set up their individuality yet here, Aeneas passively allows Dido to make so. She forces him to busy a place equal to her ain despite his lower societal position as he “ sits in Dido ‘s topographic point ” ( II.i.93 ) , later sabotaging his place by assailing his decreased maleness: “ What faints Aeneas to retrieve Troy/ in whose defense mechanism he fought so valorously? Look up and talk ” ( II.i.119-20 ) . Aeneas ‘s entry to her authorization by stating his narrative categorizes Dido as an castrating presence throughout the drama: Achates describes her influence as a “ dawdling ” that can “ devour a soldier ‘s strength ” ( IV.iii.34 ) . Aeneas is unable to defy her feminizing influence, leting her to take his boy from the tribunal, to destruct the oars of the fleet ( IV.ii.106-9 ) and most significantly, to endanger her topics with inordinate force if they do non accept her lover: “ Command my guard to murder for their offense ” ( IV.ii.72 ) .
Deats has suggested that in this initial exchange Dido appears as a courtly lover, directing the action, praising Aeneas and giving him gifts ( 163-78 ) . The statement that this gender reversal gives Dido power must be counteracted with both her reaction to maleness and grounds of her reversion to female functions. Shepard contends that the narrative nowadayss Aeneas as a lessened topic as he is interrupted by flashbacks and later allows him to emphasize his maleness ( 53-79 ) . He maintains that Dido ‘s effort to utilize this address to confirm her sovereignty is weakened by the show of homosocial bonds required by the narrative: Achates must complete the narration for his leader. Dido is threatened by intense maleness as the violent content of Aeneas ‘s narrative causes her to seek some other “ pleasant athletics ” ( II.i.302 ) . She places a lower category alien as her equal and becomes female parent to his kid, Ascanius ( II.i.98 ) . By doing Aeneas her equal, Dido encourages a masculine remake of the universe, which will displace female individuality. This tone dominates the beginning of the concluding act, as Aeneas attempts to transforms Carthage into a new Troy: the “ junior-grade walls ” of Carthage will be replaced by the new metropolis of “ Anchisaeon ” , named after Aeneas ‘s male parent ( V.i.3, 22 ) . Dido moves between a natural and political individuality, puting Aeneas in “ a superior place to herself merely because of his gender ” ( Jankowski 134 ) . In ulterior scenes, her political unity is damaged by her inordinate averments of personal desire, as his going would be worse than the ruin of her imperium: “ It is Aeneas ‘s scowl that ends my yearss ” ( IV.v.120 ) . The individuality of Dido therefore wavers between masculine action and female subservience to work forces. Her subjectiveness is uncomplete and unstable, coming into struggle with the fixed male ego established though imperium and homosocial dealingss. Her reign readily tantrums into Knox ‘s averments that female regulation is a wickedness against God, “ a thing most cross-grained to his revealed will ” and a “ corruption of good order ” ( 5 ) . She does non look as an absolute swayer but instead as a adult female characterised by the defects feared by Knox.
This form continues in Act Three, as Dido rejects the love of her suer, Iarbas, before subjecting to the influence of Aeneas. It is dry that she creates her regulation by contradicting masculine desire as Aeneas immediately weakens her. Dido engages in the typically male literary activity of the coat of arms or a description of single parts of the beloved. She tries to bring forth an ideal image of this adult male by repairing him in her position entirely: “ State them, none shall stare on him but I/ lest their gross eye-beams contamination my lover ‘s cheeks ” ( III.i.73-4 ) and seeks to find how the universe perceives his objectified organic structure: “ I ‘ll do watchbands of his aureate hair/ His glistering eyes shall be my looking glass ” ( III.i.86-7 ) . In a survey of the influence of Petrarch ‘s sonnets upon the Renaissance construct of female beauty, Vickers contends that Laura is “ ever presented as a portion or as parts ” ( 266 ) . The ground for this atomization could be explained as a agency of commanding a female lover who has the power to bewray, as the bar of a full ego is a denial of her sway and address. It is possible to widen this statement to explicate Dido ‘s attempt to thin the influence of Aeneas and curtail his image. Dido transfer a agency of commanding adult females to work forces but the consequence is limited ; Laura is powerless as she is non a complete adult female, whereas Dido is unable to protect her sovereignty from desire, as she would empty her exchequer to mend the Trojan fleet and do Aeneas responsible for the safety of Carthage ( III.i.126, 135 ) . She repeats the form of the first scene by doing Aeneas both her political equal and the beginning of world for her: “ Alternatively of music, I will hear him speak/ His expressions shall be my lone library ” ( III.i.89-90 ) . Gender individuality continues as fluid, as Dido is male and female, active and inactive. However, Aeneas changes the quality of her address, arguably a reversal of gender public presentation therefore far: the male now determines and controls the female.
Dido has remained “ free from all ” ( III.i.153 ) old suers, but is unable to keep this place as Aeneas changes the quality of her address, doing it unreliable to her: “ O, if I speak/ I shall bewray myself ” ( III.i.173-4 ) . Desire directs her towards silence, the ideal female province, and reduces the certainty with she can talk: “ I love thee not- and yet I hate thee non ” ( III.i.172-3 ) . It has been argued that Dido ‘s voice merely becomes gendered when she speaks to Aeneas of her desire ( Kinney 1-13 ) and it is this capable place that is the most baleful to her. A changeless motion between natural and political desires forces the audience to see her “ as a adult female instead than a swayer ” ( Jankowski 134 ) , which in bend supports the image of female regulation as characterised by passion instead than ground.
The matrimony of Dido and Aeneas is cardinal to the drama ‘s word picture of corrupt female regulation and its emasculating consequence. Based on Deats ‘s definition of male and female properties ( 163-78 ) , Dido appears as the active male force doing Aeneas the receiving system of her desire and political power. The scene, dominated by Dido ‘s switching capable place, takes topographic point in a cave where Dido and Aeneas are forced to take safety from a storm whilst hunting. She ab initio employs linguistic communication gendered as female to show her desire for Aeneas, which fails to function her intent: “ And yet I ‘ll talk, – and yet I ‘ll keep my peace ” ( III.iv.27 ) . Dido is traveling between an enclosed political individuality and a desire to subject to gender. It is her natural, female organic structure which briefly emerges every bit exultant as she tells Aeneas that his “ aureate Crown might equilibrate my content ” and that “ the Carthage queen dies for him ” ( III.iv.37, 40 ) . This discourse is instantly displaced by one of power and domination as Dido renames her lover following his vow “ ne’er to wish or love any but her ” ( III.iv.51 ) . She once more gives him the name of her hubby and interrupts patrilinear heritage: “ Sichaeus, non Aeneas, be thou called/ The male monarch of Carthage, non Anchises ‘s boy ” ( III.iv.59-60 ) . She gives him a new individuality and efforts to rewrite history, moving as a male manager of world. Dido elevates Aeneas to king, offering him Carthage alternatively of Italy, whilst returning herself to the function of married woman through her dead hubby ‘s gems: “ This nuptials ring/ wherewith my hubby woo ‘d me yet a amah ” ( III.iv.62-3 ) . This use of gems as a gift imitates the opening scene of homosexual desire between Jupiter and Ganymede, bordering the relationship of Dido and Aeneas as bastard and potentially destructive. Jupiter gives his male lover the matrimony gems of his married woman, leting him to “ command proud Fate and cut the yarn of clip ” ( I.i.29 ) . Both Dido and Jupiter are depicted as autonomous swayers destabilised by gender who allow their lovers to move as superior swayers. Dido ‘s function as queen allows her to prosecute sexual desire and in bend, gender displaces her political power. Unlike Queen Elizabeth, she is unable to unify both her natural and political individualities, making a nothingness in her subjectiveness that will enable Aeneas ‘s masculine individuality to emerge as superior in ulterior scenes. At the beginning of her regulation, Elizabeth steadfastly established her cardinal significance: “ Here lies interred Elizabeth/ A Virgin pure until her decease ” ( Marcus 60 ) . Dido fails to exercise such control over her individuality ; even in her concluding averment of self- ” Dido I am, unless I be deceived ” ( V.i.264 ) – she chooses neither a political nor private function, wishing to be as both. Virgil writes of the matrimony that “ henceforth Dido cared no more for visual aspects or her good name… she called it a matrimony: she used this word to test her wickedness ” ( IV.63-5 ) . Marlowe explores this attitude and its effects for the balance of the drama, showing a conservative review of a female swayer utilizing public agencies to farther personal desire.
The concluding exchange between Dido and Aeneas focuses upon the efforts of the queen to coerce her lover to remain with her. Dido occupies a scope of capable places in this scene, get downing with that of swayer. She acknowledges the menaces she risked for his love: “ How did Carthage Rebel, Iarbas storm/ and all the universe calls me a 2nd Helen/ For being entangled in a alien ‘s expressions? ” ( V.i.143-5 ) . Dido is unable to unify her private and political organic structures, cataloguing the effects of her lecherousness for her state. The going of Aeneas forces her to switch to a private individuality, as she would promote her sister to the position of queen and live a private life with him if he returned ( V.i.197-8 ) . Dido is reduced to “ idle phantasies ” ( V.i.262 ) by her unrealized desire and her self-destruction interrupts the self-construction of Aeneas. The continuation of her ain individuality, both political and natural is based upon the repair of Aeneas ‘s subjectiveness: she will do “ Aeneas celebrated throughout the world/ for bearing false witness and the slaughter of a queen ” ( V.i.293-4 ) . At decease, Dido does non accommodate a clear gender individuality. In a survey of decease and self-destruction in classical calamity, Loraux has demonstrated that male self-destruction was typically a public affair of protecting honor, whilst female self-destruction was enacted in private as a response to this ( 7-30 ) . Women die wing in the matrimony chamber as married womans certifying to their topographic point in society as loyal, yet here, Dido dies in public for love. She is both masculine and feminine, a leader seeking to continue her honor and a married woman keening the going of her hubby. The drama concludes with the deceases of Dido, Iarbas and Anna, three figures who renounce their liberty and individuality in favor of lecherousness. The drama closes with an image of destructive desire that has remained cardinal to Marlowe ‘s vision of female regulation throughout. Dido emerges as an inefficient swayer, overrun with passion and moving as an castrating force. The drama is a conservative review of female regulation and an avowal of the Elizabethan societal construction, implementing the belief that adult females were be ruled by work forces and could non be as persons. It has been argued, “ quashing the feminine becomes the juncture ” of the maleness of Aeneas and his soldiers ( Shepard 68 ) . Female individuality is subsumed within an political orientation of inordinate maleness, a subject predominate in Webster ‘s drama to which this survey will now turn.
Foucault has argued that power and sex exist in a negative relationship with each other as power concepts discourses and prohibitions to restrict gender ( 81-92 ) . In Webster ‘s The Duchess of Malfi, ( 1613 ) Ferdinand and Bosola, his undercover agent, concept two discourses, the inordinate gender of widows and the ability of adult females to lead on through cosmetics, as steps to embrace the baleful gender of the Duchess. Both discourses can be defined as misogynous, or a set of images that lead to the decease of a female transgressor ( Callaghan 123-32 ) . Unlike Dido, the Duchess portions her power with her brothers, Ferdinand and the Cardinal, both of whom seek to vouch the legitimacy of their lineage by contradicting the natural organic structure of their sister. Their discourses take part in the control of the audiences ‘ reading of the Duchess, cut downing the cogency of her matrimony to a mere fulfillment of lecherousness. The image of the widow is deployed by Ferdinand early in the drama as he contends, “ they are most luxurious/ will get married twice ” ( I.iii.7 ) . He describes a 2nd matrimony through an image of upset in nature: “ like the guerrilla crab/ which though it goes rearward, thinks it goes right ” ( I.iii.28-9 ) . Associating female desire with irregular happenings in nature besides appears in Elizabeth Cary ‘s The Tragedy of Mariam ( c.1613 ) , when Constabarus describes the natural Torahs and boundaries his married woman, Salome, disturbs by seeking divorce: “ Let fishes crop, animals swim and birds descend/ Let fire burn downwards whilst the Earth aspires ” ( I.vii.425-6 ) . In both cases, female desire, either sexual or political, becomes transgressive and unnatural, aligned with a monstrous natural universe. Ferdinand fears the cognition his sister has of sexual desire from her old matrimony ( I.iii.3 ) and reminds her that she is non a private person: “ Your darkest actions, nay, your privat’st thoughts/ will come to light ” ( I.iii.24-5 ) . The Duchess herself acknowledges this complex interaction between private and public that demands she rejects the sexual in favor of the political: “ The wretchedness of us that are born great! We are forced to court, because none daring woo us ” ( I.iii.144-5 ) . The beginning of Ferdinand ‘s want to forestall his sister ‘s matrimony is based upon the fright of the intense gender of widows and their position in society. Widows were inferior to work forces but superior to married adult females and a widow ‘s sexual cognition could enable her to judge her new hubby ( Jankoskwi 163-182 ) . Marriage was non an ideal means to take this anomalous figure as a adult male could be moved “ into a bed vacated by another adult male ‘s decease, ” arousing a confrontation with mortality ( Jankoskwi 168 ) .
The Duchess ignores her brother ‘s warnings, deducing pleasance from her function in societal exchange ( Enterline 242-304 ) . Like a diamond which additions its value from being “ passed through most jewelry makers custodies ” ( I.iii.8 ) , the Duchess seeks to go an agent of her ain desire in a secret matrimony ceremonial to Antonio, declining both the power of her brothers and the church: “ How can the church bind faster? ” ( I.iii.190 ) . The continuance of the drama explores the effects of the Duchess ‘s efforts to utilize her political authorization to function her personal desires and to reshape her universe harmonizing to the individuality she embodies. The action of the drama displacements to the birth of the Duchess ‘s first kid, presenting a 2nd discourse of power into the text.
Bosola ‘s philippic against cosmetics and monstrous organic structures serves as a model of reading for the birth of the Duchess ‘s kid. His positions cast the gestation of the Duchess in a negative visible radiation, pulling attending to the corruptness of her lineage and to a female organic structure that changes uncontrollably. Bosola attacks an old adult female whom he believes has come from painting her “ abject face-physic ” to mask the “ the deep ruts and disgusting gangrenes ” of her skin color ( II.i.21-22 ) . The activity of face picture is linked to witchcraft, a marginalised female function and he makes adult females monstrous through the ingredients of cosmetics: “ the fat of snakes, spawn of serpents, Jews ‘ saliva and their immature kids ‘s fecal matter ” ( II.i.33 ) . Cosmetics allow adult females to hide a “ icky and dead organic structure ” in “ rich tissue ” ( II.i.52-3 ) and it is this ability to conceal their true natures which is at the bosom of Bosola ‘s statement. This construct features in Jonson ‘s Epicoene, specifically in the character, Mistress Otter. Her organic structure is reassembled each forenoon and is owned by different parts of London: “ All her dentitions were made in Blackfriars, both/ her superciliums in the Strand ” ( III.ii.109-10 ) . Cosmetics are integrated into the unstable public presentation of muliebrity, “ where muliebrity is a province of accomplishment and attribution, non a fact of biological science or gender ” ( Craik 90 ) . Female individuality is based upon titling the organic structure ; in contrast to a male organic structure defined by the actions it performs ( Craik 90-117 ) . During the early modern period, several booklets and behavior books warned against the dangers of face picture and the associated artificiality of adult females. In The Anatomy of Abuses ( 1538 ) Philip Stubbes condemned adult females who tried to better upon their natural beauty, for such a adult female “ hath corrupted and defaced ( like a foul adulteress or whorehouse ) the craft of God in her ” ( Aughterson 75 ) . Womans surpassed the ability of the chameleon or Proteus to change their signifiers, therefore doing them both unnatural and unstable. Like Bosola, Stubbes is concerned by the break of markers of individuality by cosmetics and dress: “ One can barely cognize who is a baronial adult female, who is an honorable or adoring adult female, from them of the meaner kind ” ( Aughterson 76 ) . Cosmetics allow adult females to accommodate any individuality that they wish, puting a multiple organic structure in resistance to the fixed masculine ego.
The positions of Stubbes were amplified in Thomas Tuke ‘s A Discourse against Painting and Tincturing of Women ( 1616 ) , which argues that cosmetics were “ brought into usage by the Satan… therwith to transform humane animals of faire, doing them ugly, enormious and detestable ” ( Tuke 8 ) . For Tuke, the beginning of this disgust for face-painting prevarications both in its map and the ingredients, as the quicksilver based cosmetics caused gradual decomposition of the tegument, diagrammatically described in the piece of land: “ adult females who frequently paint themselves with it, though they be really immature, they soon turne old with shriveled and wrinkled faces like an Ape… it drieth up and consumeth the flesh ” taking to “ a stinking breath ” and “ corruptness of the dentition ” ( Tuke 8 ) .Finke argues that this transition draws a comparing between adult females and a decaying cadaver, whilst foregrounding the ultimate consequence of a adult female ‘s desire to look as an ideal portrayal in day-to-day life ( 356-70 ) . Bosola is likewise disgusted by face picture, preferring to “ eat a dead pigeon/ taken from the colloidal suspensions of the pess of one sick of the plague/ than kiss one of you fasting ” ( II.i.34-6 ) . Finke suggests that Bosola ‘s onslaught on adult females is portion of “ a fright and ill will that consequences from adult male ‘s consciousness of his ain prurience ” ( 359 ) . Both widows and cosmetics force male characters to recognize the image of themselves reflected through adult females and to face decease. Femininity must be constructed as weak to enable certain masculine constructions to be and mask masculine exposure ( Finke 356-70 ) . The Duchess ‘s secret matrimony and gestation compounds the masculine thrust to repair the image of adult females, as she seeks sexual fulfillment and produces her ain inheritor.
& gt ; The positions of Stubbes, Tuke and others sing the female usage of cosmetics to change their organic structures help to light Bosola ‘s subsequent description of the Duchess ‘s pregnant organic structure. She “ is ill a-days, she pukes, her tummy seethes/ the fives of her eyes look most teeming blue ” ( II.i.59-60 ) . The Duchess describes herself as “ so troubled with the female parent ” ( II.i.108 ) , or the effects of gestation, proposing a deficiency of bodily control. Callaghan links Bosola ‘s disgust with this gestation to a general fright of female desire in this period. Female desire was viewed as unnatural and aberrant, bing as the “ motive for alteration, turbulence, break and crucially, for female evildoing ” ( Callaghan 140 ) . Pregnancy therefore becomes the marker of an unnatural desire and is in struggle with the normal organic structure of work forces ( Callaghan 140-7 ) . Bosola uses apricots to prove the Duchess, coercing her to consume soil, as the fruit was ripened in “ Equus caballus droppings ” ( II.i.131 ) , therefore film overing the boundary between animate being and human, societal and natural. The monstrous and beastly nature of the gestation is proven to Bosola by the Duchess ‘s neglect for this fact and her avaricious ingestion of the fruit. He sees non the chance of life but merely “ the immature springal cutting a caper in her abdomen ” ( II.i.142 ) . Like Dido, the Duchess does non try to hide the invasion of the private upon her public ego, have oning merely a loose fitted garment to conceal her organic structure. By leting her natural organic structure to alter and increase, she “ forces consideration of herself as a natural adult female instead than a swayer, and foregrounds her organic structure natural at the disbursal of her organic structure political ” ( Jankowski 176 ) . It is this disregard of her public ego which subsequently enables Ferdinand ‘s retaliation.
The birth of this kid affords the audience an chance to see Ferdinand ‘s true sentiment of his sister. In a duologue with the Cardinal, Ferdinand reacts with utmost disgust and promises of violence.The Duchess has become a “ ill-famed adulteress ” ( III.v.3 ) , a “ sister damned ” ( III.v.2 ) . The chief object of Ferdinand ‘s fury is the complete devastation of his sister ‘s corrupt organic structure, uncovering a desire to break up her physical ego and therefore eliminate the memory of her. He attacks single facets of her organic structure that have betrayed him: her “ bleeding bosom ” which is a volatile lover and her “ septic blood ” that has removed the pureness of the household lineage ( III.v.15, 26 ) . He ends his indignation with an image of absolute devastation of the Duchess and her household: “ Dip the sheets they lie in in pitch or sulphur/ wrap them i n’t and so light them with a lucifer ” ( III.v.70-1 ) . As mentioned above, it has been argued that Petrarch tried to cut down the impact of his beloved by showing her in uncomplete pieces and here, Ferdinand strives for a similar consequence, “ painting adult female as a lifeless, dismembered object ” ( Finke 364 ) . By perforating and interrupting her organic structure, Ferdinand can repair her subjectiveness in a negative image that justifies his force. The necessity to tag the female organic structure as an exercising of male power was remarked upon by Jane Anger in Her Protection for Women ( 1589 ) , when she wrote “ if we hide our chests it must be with leather: for no fabric can maintain their long nails out of our bosoms ” ( 6 ) . In each instance, the female organic structure is objectified and vulnerable to external forces.
Ferdinand believes that power must rule gender and there a figure of ways to construe his fury. First, the Duchess has interfered with familial heritage, defiling her blood with that of a lower category adult male. In a ulterior scene, Ferdinand acknowledges the decreased exchange value of his sister as her pure organic structure was worth more than a psyche ( IV.i.122 ) . Jardine has argued that the cardinal concern of Webster is to detail the struggle between personal fondness and heritage emerging in the early modern period ( 63-103 ) . As a widow, the Duchess possessed a separate individuality to her household that determined her sexual independency but this freedom is rapidly subsumed within male desires to protect line of descent. A 2nd, possibly more interesting reading, draws attending to the inextricable nexus between the individualities of the Duchess and Ferdinand. This nexus is suggested by Ferdinand ‘s description of his sister as a hyaena ( II.i.39 ) , his ulterior self- imagination as a wolf ( V.ii.10-21 ) and eventually, the disclosure that they were twins following her decease ( IV.ii.248 ) . Enterline suggests that the Duchess acts as a mirror for her brother and her maternal organic structure disrupts his self-construction ( 242-304 ) . She “ disturbs her brother ‘s ocular and verbal orders, estranging him from the truth of his organic structure ” ( Enterline 242 ) . The invariably flowing pregnant organic structure interrupts the fastness of the male organic structure, guaranting that the Duchess is no longer a mirror for her brother. The Duchess ‘s individuality is made complex, as her actions as invariably refracted through the male histrions around her. She is neither political nor natural, a swayer nor a adult female and it has been suggested that her narrative merely affairs because of the impact upon her brothers ( Enterline 242-304 ) . Later in the drama, the decease of the Duchess will go the drift for Ferdinand ‘s lunacy. Removing the object that is a mark of his ain individuality offprints Ferdinand from his old self-construction. This is a clear illustration of feminist statements that while work forces have the Phallus, adult females are the Phallus, meaning “ the Phallus through being its other, its absence, its deficiency, the dialectical verification of its individuality ” ( Butler 56 ) . The Duchess served as the other against which Ferdinand defined himself and her absence removes the evidences of his individuality. The drama posits an definite nexus between male and female individuality, threatened non merely by the efforts of the female to be individually from the male but besides by male desires to repair the female in a individual function.
Butler has written, “ the cultural matrix through which gender individuality has become apprehensible requires that certain sorts of ‘identities ‘ can non ‘exist ‘ ” ( 23-4 ) . Knox argued that a female swayer would non be able to command her “ appetencies… will… desires ” ( 8 ) . Marlowe and Webster explore these constructs as each work presents a new theoretical account of female individuality and sexual independency, which must be destroyed because it can non be incorporated into bing societal constructions. In each
instance, the sexual fulfillment and new self-image created by female political figures is displaced by inordinate malenesss reacting to that power.