Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor's Name

James Sutton

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Maneck Daruwala

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Ana Luszczynska

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


feminist, commodification, materialist, shakespeare, spenser, keats, queer, butler, gender performance, masquerade

Date of Defense



The purpose of this thesis was to explore selected works from William Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, and John Keats, in order to expose textual instances of feminist thought. This analysis was aided with feminist theorists falling under the main strains of queer theory, materialism, and gender performance. Specifically, this thesis focused on the ways in which women, particularly virgin daughters, were viewed as property by their male kin. It also looked at how these women engaged in various symbolic masquerades and/or actual cross-dressing as a response to the aforementioned phenomenon. Finally, the thesis exposed how these masquerades can be construed as a queering of identity—manifested through reversals of power and rejection of patriarchal institutions like marriage.





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