Tragicomic Men

Trish Thomas Henley

in The Oxford Handbook of Thomas Middleton

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199559886
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Tragicomic Men

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Literature
  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)


Show Summary Details


This article investigates Middleton's use of the transgressive genre of tragicomedy to critique both dominant and emergent discourses of masculinity. What happens when ideologies of male honour, rank, and family conflict? What do these contradictions do to early modern notions of male subjectivity? What do they say about a political system predicated upon patriarchal ideology? And, lastly, how do definitions of male subjectivity shift when the patriarchal economy moves from feudalism to the proto-capitalist marketplace? The article argues that Middleton's dialogic tragicomedy makes clear the contradictions inherent in patriarchal ideology and reveals even the most traditionally ‘honourable’ of masculine subject positions to be motivated by self-interest and narcissism.

Keywords: Thomas Middleton; transgressive genre; tragicomedy; masculinity

Article.  8493 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.