In Tudor-Stuart England, women were becoming more and more unruly, beginning to take their behavior and sexuality into their own hands. This created an obsessive desire to control women evident in the increase in witchcraft trials and the invention of punishments specifically for women. These conditions set the stage for a series of dramatic works, essays, and pamphlets that postulated opinions on the nature of women that would come to be known as the woman controversy. Judging from the ways in which the rhetorical elements of character and humor and from the dialogic nature of both theatrical works focusing on the “ problem of women” and the pamphlet writings for the formal woman controversy, I would argue that there is a transient distinction between the two.
In response to the transient nature of the pamphlets and plays of the period, I have written a short play based on one particularly fascinating pamphlet and the three responses it generates. This play demonstrates the theatrical nature of the pamphlets as well as highlighting the fascinating characters, humor, and gender issues surrounding both the pamphlets and the Early Modern London theatre scene.
Allison Reese, ’07 Elk Grove Village, IL
James E. Trainor III, ’07 Cedar Rapids, IA
Kimberly Davidson, ’08 Centennial, CO
Samuel Ruby, ’10 Brookline, MA
Jennifer Everson, ’07 Neenah, WI
Major: Classical Studies
Sponsor: Kirilka Stavreva