Master of Arts (MA)
First Advisor's Name
Dr. Heather E. Blatt
First Advisor's Committee Title
Second Advisor's Name
Dr. Jason H. Pearl
Second Advisor's Committee Title
Third Advisor's Name
Dr. Andrew Strycharski
Third Advisor's Committee Title
Literature in English, British Isles
Date of Defense
Characters’ identities are integral to how audiences relate to them. But what happens when the character suddenly alters his or her outward appearance? Are they still the same person? This thesis seeks to argue that disguise does not alter a character’s true nature, as evidenced by Pyrocles in Sir Philip Sidney’s The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia and the Prince in Margaret Cavendish’s The Convent of Pleasure. Both Pyrocles’ suit of Philoclea and the Prince’s suit of Lady Happy are successful because, however subversive they appear at first, they ultimately adhere to societal norms of the time. The relationship between the cross-dressed prince and his love interest in both works only appears to subvert heteronormative expectations for the time, but ultimately adheres to these societal norms once the disguised character’s true identity is revealed to his chosen partner.
Franco, Chelsea E., "The (Wo)Man in the Masque: Cross-Dressing as Disguise in Early Modern English Literature" (2015). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1780.
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