Title

Desdemona and the Role of Women in the Antebellum North

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2008

Publication Title

Theatre Journal

Volume Number

60

Issue Number

2

DOI

10.1353/tj.0.0002

Abstract

This essay examines critical, theatrical, and popular attitudes toward Desdemona in the Northern United States during the half-century before the Civil War. It argues that the actions and purported essence of the character were embedded within cultural debates, not only concerning questions of miscegenation, but also issues surrounding the social construction of womanhood, the equality of women, and women's participation in anti-slavery societies. The Desdemona of this era is seen as both a product of changing attitudes and a participant in these debates, inasmuch as she served as an interventionary presence in political and social discourse.

ISSN

0192-2882

First Page

235

Last Page

255

Link Out URL

https://doi.org/10.1353/tj.0.0002

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