Virginity as Autonomy in Shakespeare’s Pericles
Where: Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Ave.
212-817-7000 Price: Free
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In this talk I explore a perspective on female virginity that emerges in Pericles in the associations of Thaisa, Marina, and Pericles with the goddess Diana. The final recognition scene re-unites Pericles, Thaisa, and Marina at the temple of the Goddess Diana, which as F. Elizabeth Hart, shows, embodies a long history of potent goddess figures in this ancient city. I am particularly interested in exploring the power of the Virginal Maternal embodied in pre-Christian goddesses, defined, not as a mode of patriarchal oppression, but rather as an expression of female autonomy: as the woman’s power and freedom to choose her mate. In Pericles, both Thaisa and Maria choose their husbands. Pericles, in turn, remains loyal to Thaisa, and in his long period of mourning grows his hair long while praying to the goddess Diana in a way that recalls the male followers of earlier manifestations of the goddess.Buy tickets/get more info now