Aphra Behn’s The History of the Nun (or The Fair Vow-Breaker): Constructs vs. Nature

    Aphra Behn’s The History of the Nun: Or The Fair Vow-Breaker is a novella from the famous Restoration dramatist, but the novella lacks the kind of character development and dialogue that made Behn such a popular dramatist.  The story certainly has dramatic (or perhaps melodramatic) twists that would have no doubt been entertaining […]

John Milton’s Comus: The Restoration’s Robin Thicke

Though Paradise Lost is Milton’s finest piece, his presentation of Eve, and by extension women, in this epic poem is less than flattering.  Still, some feminists have been able to interpret and present the text in a manner that promotes Eve as an empowering character.  In his masque Comus, though, Milton presents a far more […]

Anti-Semitism and Gender in The Merchant Of Venice

Of all the plays attributed to William Shakespeare, there is perhaps none that have been impacted by the history that followed more than Merchant of Venice (though there is a case to be made for Othello as well).  Though many ascribe the dramatic shift in interpretations to the Holocaust, which no doubt has played an […]

As You Like It: A Bromance Between Women

I’m not generally a fan of the comedies that have been attributed to Shakespeare.  I simply do not find them entertaining.  I’m more often drawn to sombre tales plighted with melancholy, so I tend more often to enjoy the tragedies among the plays attributed to Shakespeare.  That does not mean they are without merit, simply […]

John Lyly’s Gender Bending Gallathea

John Lyly’s Gallathea is an Elizabeth play performed initially by one of the boys acting companies in London.  I’m not generally a fan of comedies and though I wasn’t particularly drawn into Gallathea in terms of its narrative, it is certainly not without its merits as the play examines gender constructs and debunks what has […]