Female Agency in the early modern romance in British and Italian context: Lady Mary Wroth, Anna Weamys, Moderata Fonte and Giulia Bigolina

Aydoğdu Çelik, Merve
This study explores female agency in the early modern British and Italian context in Lady Mary Wroth‘s The Countess of Montgomery‘s Urania, Anna Weamys‘ A Continuation of Sir Philip Sidney‘s Arcadia, Moderata Fonte‘s Thirteen Songs of Floridoro and Giulia Bigolina‘s Urania: The Story of a Young Woman‘s Love by concentrating on female empowerment in their romances on a historicist basis. New Historicism and Cultural Materialism scrutinise literary texts within their historical context. In this sense, the theoretical framework the study employs is the amalgam of New Historicism and Cultural Materialism. Regarding the historical context, it adopts a New Historicist approach based upon the analysis of each romance within its own period of production. Nonetheless, the focus is on Cultural Materialism since, although each approach hinges upon similar basic precepts in regard to contextual readings of literary texts, Cultural Materialism, built upon the principle of dissidence and polyphony in culture, takes into consideration the fissures in the dominant ideology to amplify the silenced and marginalised voices of the system. Within this framework, considering the early modern patriarchal social order which mutes female voice and forbids romances, the study seeks to recover the subordinate constituent of the early modern culture. It argues that the female romance as a dissident genre, female romance authors owing to act of writing and the female characters in each romance via various adventures defying the patriarchal prescriptions challenge the gendered hierarchical structure, the patriarchal discourse, the patriarchal construction of femininity and the biased patriarchal institutions of the early modern period in order to foreground female agency, to amplify female voice and to accentuate female experience.


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Citation Formats
M. Aydoğdu Çelik, “Female Agency in the early modern romance in British and Italian context: Lady Mary Wroth, Anna Weamys, Moderata Fonte and Giulia Bigolina,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2018.