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The Quest for CardenioShakespeare, Fletcher, Cervantes, and the Lost Play$
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David Carnegie and Gary Taylor

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199641819

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641819.001.0001

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Transvestism, Transformation, and Text: Cross-dressing and Gender Roles in Double Falsehood/The History of Cardenio

Transvestism, Transformation, and Text: Cross-dressing and Gender Roles in Double Falsehood/The History of Cardenio

Chapter:
(p.256) 13 Transvestism, Transformation, and Text: Cross-dressing and Gender Roles in Double Falsehood/The History of Cardenio
Source:
The Quest for Cardenio
Author(s):

Lori Leigh

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641819.003.0013

This chapter examines the cross-dressing role for the female character Violante in Double Falsehood, based on episodes in Cervantes’s novel Don Quixote, and asks whether this heroine’s theatrical transvestism may tie the early eighteenth-century version to its Jacobean source, the lost Shakespeare and Fletcher play Cardenio. The chapter examines the efficacy of Violante’s male disguise in both Shakespeare and Fletcher’s work and Theobald’s — efficacy with regards to successful deception, but also as a protective tool. Enveloping these questions is the broader question of gender and its relation to power. The question of Violante’s rape (or seduction) and subsequent attempted rape is central: in particular, the fascinating sequence in which Violante as a transvestite confronts her rapist and accuses him of ‘bobbing’ her, not as a woman — but as a boy.

Keywords:   Double Falsehood, Cardenio, rape, Lewis Theobald, cross-dressing, gender, Shakespeare, Fletcher, transvestite

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