Callaghan 2000

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Callaghan, Dympna. Shakespeare Without Women: Representing Gender and Race on the Renaissance Stage. New York: Rutledge, 2000.

Introduction: Cleopatra had a way with her

book about "the specifically political dimension of the dense philosophical problems posed b dramatic representation" (2)

who's not on stage -- women, Africans, indigenous Irish

"I am especially concerned with whether such absence matters and, further, curious about what complex admixture of elements -- including sympathetic representation, misrepresentation, non-representation, and, crucially, the structural effects of mimesis itself -- constitutes the absence of these groups." (2)

Peacham drawing of Titus Andronicus -- "vividly depicts racial and gendered difference and seems to point to the inclusivity of Shakespeare's stage" (3)

"the coercion that inheres in csocial relations whereby the aristocracy secures and amintains power gives way to an invisible function of the conomic system itself. Thus visibility, which at a later historical moment comes to signify representation in its political sense (namely, representing the interests of a particular constituency rather than mere depiction), becomes prominent precisely at the moment when crucial aspects of power and economic exchange invisible." (5)

"On Shakespeare's stage, as a result of both all-male mimesis and the production of racialized others in racially homogenous acting companies, the problem of representation in general -- that it necessarily represents what is not actually there -- becomes exacerbated in historically specific relation to femininity and racial difference." (7)

Cleopatra -- "simultaneously as a symbol of woman, of female sovereignty, of racial difference, and of subjected nationhood" -- shows that "race is not an ancillary representational category" (7)

"In the specific historical context of the Renaissance, the instituionalized practise of female impersonation, which, because more than half the population was female, is by far the most pervasive form of impersonation (more so, for example, than the impersonation of aristocrats or racial others), epitomizes the process of substitution inherent in dramatic representation at the same time as it signals the exclusions on which the dramatic significantion of difference is founded." (7)

"I choose to focus on absence rather than presence because racial alterity in Shakespeare's theatre has the same status as the female body, namely, absent from the processes of representation" (8)

"presence cannot be equated with representation any more than representation can be equated with inclusion. With this in mind, I want to use Shakespeare as the site from which to address the stakes of representation, especially for those who, in spite, or perhaps because of, their hypervisibility, have been historically its objects and not its subjects." (9)

"stage impersonations should not be understood as attempts to grasp a coherent, authentic identity that always resides outside its representations and which somehow always outreaches them. There are, rather, complex dislocations and coincidences between women and representations of femininity, between Africans and representations of negritude, and so on, making these representations complicit with the lived conditions to which they refer." (11)

no record of Anthony and Cleopatra having been played during Shakespeare's lifetime (12-13)

"Whatever the reasons, performance history of the hypervisible and powerful Cleopatra demonstrates that she has too often been found to be unrepresentable, and the play has been performed only a handful of times up until this century." (13)

"The crude category of woman, defined only by biology and outside the text and insulated from the ways in which cultural representations produce and reinforce assigned subject positions, is a classficiation of no more substantial existence than the most outlandish fiction. Representation thus contributes to, rather than being distinct from, the invention of the cultural subject. The paradox of representation is that it both produces and occludes subjectivities and while it may service the production and reproduction of subjectivities, it cannot wholly determine them." (13)

"Whatever images of Moors, Turks, and wild men appeared on the English stage, they were rarely in the audience to take exception to the proceedings. English women were another matter. They were the objects and the consumers of the very representations they could not produce, and by extension, the bearers, not the makers of meaning." (15)

unsettling possibility that women were better represented on Shakespeare's stage by NOT being on stage physically than they were later by women actresses

"change in representation alone does not bring about political change" (18)

"When all colors, shapes, levels of physical ability, sexualities, and so on, are to be seen on TV, we still cannot be sure that we will be fully represented; we will still have to decide exactly what representation means as a political and cultural goal, who gets represented, who gets access to representation, who feels represented, and what counts as representation." (18)

"I have come to recognize the necessity of reading simultaneously exclusion from and representation in (as opposed to participation in) early modern culture. Race and gender in this scheme are not just related themes but categories that become visible only in relation to each other." (21)