(En-)Gendering a Popular Theatrical Genre

The Roles of Women in Nineteenth-Century British Melodrama


1. Auflage, 2014
365 Seiten

ISBN: 978-3-8253-7451-8
Sortiment: E-Book
Ausgabe: PDF
Fachgebiet: Anglistik/Amerikanistik
Reihe: Anglistische Forschungen, Band: 443
lieferbar: 25.04.2014

Schlagwörter: Großbritannien /Theater, britische Kultur /19. Jahrhundert, reception studies, Rollenkonstruktion, gender studies, Viktorianismus, Theater /19. Jahrhundert, Frauenrollen, Melodrama, Drama /19. Jahrhundert


Situated on the borderline between literary and cultural studies, this work is based on the analysis of more than 500 nineteenth-century British dramas (many of them only available as manuscripts). The main focus is on the genre of melodrama, with other dramatic forms used as a comparative background. The study draws on cultural studies models of the popular, on gender and role theory as well as reception studies to examine the representations of women constructed by the plays, thereby transcending many of the standard generalisations about femininity in melodrama and in the Victorian Age in general.

The female roles in the plays are understood as offering positions for identification to the spectators, having to negotiate between social conventions and taboos on the one hand and the audience's wishes on the other. Thus, melodrama, which was patronised by wide sections of society, can allow the twenty-first-century researcher an insight into the popular imagination of a past century.

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Christian Krug in: Journal for the Study of British Cultures, 23/2 (2016), 183-186

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Muriel Pécastaing-Boissière in: Études anglaises, 68/2 (2015), 239ff