“A Sharper Reproof to These Degenerate Effeminate Days”

  • Jennifer Feather
Part of the Early Modern Cultural Studies book series (EMCSS)


The previous chapter claims that while Vesalius presents a notion of body and self drawn from the classical tradition that ensures agent autonomy through objectification of the body either of the opponent or the corpse, his English imitators and Shakespeare’s Roman plays, influenced by a medieval English tradition, present a form of agency that understands combat as mutually constructive for both combatants and agency as relational. Vesalius’s depiction of the body begins to suggest the role violent, physical opposition plays in the construction of individual understandings of self. To elucidate how this process extends to the development of an English national sense of self, this chapter examines historical narratives, and especially moments when masculine codes of combat are appropriated by women, that illuminate the cultural differences at stake in these different modes of understanding combat in relationship to the self.


Early Modern Period Female Suicide English Writer Roman Model Roman Republic 
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© Jennifer Feather 2011

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  • Jennifer Feather

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