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Interpreting Ladies: Women, Wit, and Morality in the Restoration Comedy of Manners

by Gill, Pat

  • ISBN: 9780820316642
  • ISBN10: 0820316644

Interpreting Ladies: Women, Wit, and Morality in the Restoration Comedy of Manners

by Gill, Pat

  • List Price: $35.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publish date: 01/01/1995
  • ISBN: 9780820316642
  • ISBN10: 0820316644
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Description: Interpreting Ladies explores the defense by the Restoration comedy of manners of an ideal of aristocratic, conservative, English masculinity against the heavily satirized encroachments of French foppishness and the pretensions of the aspiring merchant class. Using Freud's theory of obscene wit, in which obscene jokes become reassuring testimonies of male privilege, as well as more recent theoretical descriptions of the discursive processes of meaning and desire, Gill considers the position of both the female protagonists and the female spectators in Restoration satire. She sketches the historical events and issues that create the link between morality and rhetoric and that serve to connect each to class and status. Gill posits that the moral indeterminacy and slippage in satiric language is closely linked to male uneasiness about female honesty, and the dramatists' arguments in defense of their satiric treatments of female hypocrisy, duplicity, and sexual desire expose the gap in the moral premise of Restoration comic satire. It is a gap, Gill contends, that has everything to do with women - with female characters and putative female spectators - and it is why she states that "any reading that proposes to account for the equivocal satiric practice of Restoration comedy must therefore of necessity include a feminist critique".
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Hardcover and dust jacket. Good binding and cover. Minor shelf wear. Clean, unmarked pages.
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