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In this chapter I return to the concepts of patience, prodigality and revenge to explore how a more nuanced reading of the opposition between action and delay that moves beyond that binary gives us new ways to think about the construction of gendered and sexualised identities in Hamlet. I identify the ways in which the axes of time and of gender intersect through the dramatic identities of the patient virgin, the prodigal and the revenging son in Hamlet. By destabilising time, I suggest that Hamlet also destabilises gender categories. The discourses of patience and prodigality which drive that destablisation, and which I have charted in this chapter and in this book, give us new ways to understand Hamlet as procrastinating revenger.
In the revenge tragedies of the late Elizabethan and early Jacobean period, the negotiation between the prodigal urge to act and, conversely, the necessity of patiently resisting action, is central to the presentation of the gendered identities of revenging characters and to the theatrical experience itself. In this chapter, I develop and complicate the ideas and arguments about patience and prodigality explored in Chapters 1 and 2 by analysing a number of revenge tragedies. The Spanish Tragedy (1585-89), Titus Andronicus (1590-92), Antonio’s Revenge (1600-1), The Tragedy of Hoffman (1602), Othello (1603-4), The Atheist’s Tragedy (1607-11), The Duchess of Malfi (1612-14) and The Changeling (1622) in different ways draw attention to both the patience and prodigality of the revenger. This chapter argues that male revengers are authorised whether they achieve vengeance (thus asserting their masculine authority and carrying out the filial duty which upholds patriarchal norms) or whether they delay revenge (and in doing so express a degree of Christian piety). Female revengers, on the other hand, seem to be denigrated whether they act to revenge (exposing themselves to accusations of sexual impropriety) or delay vengeance (therefore establishing their ineffectiveness and cruelty).
This book analyses the cultural and theatrical intersections of early modern temporal concepts and gendered identities. Through close readings of the works of Shakespeare, Middleton, Dekker, Heywood and others, across the genres of domestic comedy, city comedy and revenge tragedy, Sarah Lewis shows how temporal tropes are used to delineate masculinity and femininity on the early modern stage, and vice versa. She sets out the ways in which the temporal constructs of patience, prodigality and revenge, as well as the dramatic identities that are built from those constructs, and the experience of playgoing itself, negotiate a fraught opposition between action in the moment and delay in the duration. This book argues that looking at time through the lens of gender, and gender through the lens of time, is crucial if we are to develop our understanding of the early modern cultural construction of both.
Chapter 2 examines the concept of prodigality and the impulse to seize the moment through the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century prodigal son as a temporally subversive denier of delay. I begin with metatheatrical moments that define the prodigal’s denial of futurity in Shakespeare’s second tertralogy. I argue that the action of the prodigal’s riotous living, which challenges hierarchies of age, is paradoxically figured as a period of delay: it is a rejection of social maturation that threatens to feminise the prodigal as ineffectual. I go on to examine five Prodigal Husband plays that constitute a specific sub-genre of city comedy: Thomas Heywood’s How a man may chuse a good wife from a bad (1601-2) and The Wise Woman of Hoxton (c.1604), the anonymous The London prodigall (1603-5) and The faire maide of Bristow (1603-4), and George Wilkins’ The miseries of inforst mariage (1605-6). In these plays, we see prodigality enforced by the older generation in order to disempower the young. However, when the prodigal son’s repentance is delayed, and he becomes a prodigal husband, he poses a threat to the stability of the marital unit, and potentially to systems of patriarchal control.
Joan W. Scott’s consideration of echo as a temporal construct suggests that it is dependent on the same dual temporality that, throughout this book, I have argued structures the concepts of patience, prodigality and revenge in early modern theatre and culture. The echo is active in that it charts a linear progression of meaning into the future away from an original source; as Scott suggests, ‘the return of partial phrases alters the original sense and comments on it as well’. Yet the echo is also passive – ‘incomplete, belated’ – in that it is fundamentally premised on repetition, on return and on cyclicality; it is born of a necessary delay, an inescapable in between time, which drags it back into the past. As my analysis of a range of plays from the early modern stage has shown, patience, prodigality and revenge are concepts which are similarly predicated on this kind of dual temporality; concepts defined simultaneously by waiting and not waiting, by action and delay. Furthermore, the concepts of action and delay are themselves premised on a kind of double-time: actions can delay and delays can be active. Scott suggests it is the dual temporality of the echo that exposes the ‘gaps of meaning and intelligibility’ in the ‘notion of enduring sameness that often attaches to identity’. Similarly, as I have argued throughout this book, the dual temporalities of patience, prodigality and revenge work to expose ‘gaps of meaning and intelligibility’ by multiplying and therefore deconstructing the simple binary oppositions of male/female on the early modern stage. To conclude, I would like to illustrate how this dual temporality, and the challenge to temporal and gendered binary distinctions I suggest it makes, is made evident by the echo as a specific dramatic device.
Chapter 1 focuses on the concept of patience and the figure of the patient wife, looking in detail at this identity of female delay in early modern conduct and religious literature, and in a group of plays from the turn of the century. I begin by thinking about the nature of performative endings in All’s Well that Ends Well (1603-4), going on to examine the figure of Patient Griselda as an exemplar of female virtuous inaction in medieval narratives and in Dekker, Chettle and Haughton’s The pleasant comodie of Patient Grissill (1600). I argue that patience is figured as a temporal framework of patriarchally authorised virtuous inaction (chastity, silence and obedience), and yet also that patience can be denigrated in order to define women as obstructing socially authorised male action on the early modern stage. This chapter also examines the temporality of characters defined as prostitutes and shrews, both in Patient Grissill and in Parts One and Two of The honest whore (1604, 1604-5) as well as the anomalous figure of the patient husband. It explores the ways in which a specific kind of active patience can complicate the binaries that set duration against the instant and passivity against agency.
This introduction begins with a reading of Middleton’s The Revenger’s Tragedy, and with its evocation of Opportunity as a sexual temptress, which brings temporal concepts and gendered identities into conversation with each other in complex and revealing ways. The introduction goes on to set out the critical and conceptual foundations of the book as a whole, explaining how scholarly work which has focused on time, gender and performance has helped me to develop an understanding of the opposition of action and inaction, which I argue is central to the early modern temporal consciousness, to theatrical experience and to the early modern construction of gendered identity. In the second part of the introduction, I examine some of the ways in which early modern thinking about time and about gender developed in relation to classical ideas, religious and medical discourse and conduct literature, which worked both to define and destabilise a conflicted binary opposition between waiting and not waiting. I then return to The Revenger’s Tragedy to illustrate how the play engaged with this supposed binary opposition, suggesting that its negotiation and complication were central to early modern performances of both gender and time on the early modern stage.
We implemented universal severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing of patients undergoing surgical procedures as a means to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE). The rate of asymptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was <0.5%, which suggests that early local public health interventions were successful. Although our protocol was resource intensive, it prevented exposures to healthcare team members.
With concerns for presymptomatic transmission of COVID-19 and increasing burden of contact tracing and employee furloughs, several hospitals have supplemented pre-existing infection prevention measures with universal masking of all personnel in hospitals. Other hospitals are currently faced with the dilemma of whether or not to proceed with universal masking in a time of critical mask shortages. We summarize the rationale behind a universal masking policy in healthcare settings, important considerations before implementing such a policy and the challenges with universal masking. We also discusses proposed solutions such as universal face shields.
Daily use of high-potency cannabis has been reported to carry a high risk for developing a psychotic disorder. However, the evidence is mixed on whether any pattern of cannabis use is associated with a particular symptomatology in first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients.
We analysed data from 901 FEP patients and 1235 controls recruited across six countries, as part of the European Network of National Schizophrenia Networks Studying Gene-Environment Interactions (EU-GEI) study. We used item response modelling to estimate two bifactor models, which included general and specific dimensions of psychotic symptoms in patients and psychotic experiences in controls. The associations between these dimensions and cannabis use were evaluated using linear mixed-effects models analyses.
In patients, there was a linear relationship between the positive symptom dimension and the extent of lifetime exposure to cannabis, with daily users of high-potency cannabis having the highest score (B = 0.35; 95% CI 0.14–0.56). Moreover, negative symptoms were more common among patients who never used cannabis compared with those with any pattern of use (B = −0.22; 95% CI −0.37 to −0.07). In controls, psychotic experiences were associated with current use of cannabis but not with the extent of lifetime use. Neither patients nor controls presented differences in depressive dimension related to cannabis use.
Our findings provide the first large-scale evidence that FEP patients with a history of daily use of high-potency cannabis present with more positive and less negative symptoms, compared with those who never used cannabis or used low-potency types.
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