Olivia as a Widow in Twelfth Night, or What You Will
滝川, 睦TAKIKAWA, Mutsumu
51 , 2015-03-31 , 名古屋大学文学部
The purpose of this paper is to elucidate, from the viewpoint of audience-reader response criticism, the reason why John Mannigham, who was, as it were, the first and "ideal spectator" of Twelfth Night, or What You Will performed at the Middle Temple in 1602, referred to Olivia as a "Lady widdowe" in his review of the performance in his diary. Analyzing the structure of Twelfth Night, or What You Will as well as the cultural and historical contexts of this festive comedy, we could bring to light the two facets of the early modern English widow hidden away in the figure of Olivia: the virtuous and chaste widow; the "wealthy, sex-hungry widow" generated and instigated by male fantasy. Through this investigation, we may reasonably conclude that at the denouement of this play Olivia is enabled to free herself from these representative fetters of early modern widowhood, and to attain the marriage love in this festive world.