Article Title

Silent Women and Shrews: Eroticism and Convention in Epicoene and Measure for Measure


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

In Jonson's Epicoene, the silent ''woman" attracts Morose through "her'' reticence to speak; but once this couple undergo the false marriage ceremony, her silence metamorphoses into verbal pyrotechniques that rival those of Mistress 'Otter whose aggressive speech sets the measure of what a theatrical shrew should be. Jonson's play exploits the comic potential of the conventional shrew as this improvised female joins forces with the newly organized Collegiates, described by True-wit as women who "crie downe, or vp, what they like, or dislike in a braille, or a fashion, with most masculine, or rather hermaphroditicall authoritie" (I.i.78-80).1

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