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Neophilologus

, Volume 100, Issue 1, pp 161–174 | Cite as

“A Womans Government”: Caroline Politics in Massinger’s The Emperor of the East

  • Marina Hila
Article
  • 83 Downloads

Abstract

Philip Massinger’s tragicomedy The Emperor of the East (1631) registers contemporaneous anxiety about Henrietta Maria’s perceived influence over Charles I and the implications of the king’s mode of government during the Personal Rule. Massinger deploys the language of gender to elaborate on issues of power, associating Charles’s inability to live up to his monarchical role with his reluctance to fulfil his patriarchal role. The essay suggests that Massinger anticipates concerns about Henrietta Maria spanning the period from the early 1630s to the Civil War. The emperor’s sexual dependence on his wife is associated with tyrannical practices and the dependent relations that operate in his corruption-ridden court. Significantly, corruption at the emperor’s court is identified with sources of revenue that enabled Charles to govern without Parliament.

Keywords

English literature Caroline drama Historical context 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CreteCreteGreece

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