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5 - Performing Vice

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 May 2020

Amanda Eubanks Winkler
Affiliation:
Syracuse University, New York
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Summary

This chapter turns inward, considering how the performance of vice haunted the early modern child, how the positionality of boyhood or girlhood inflected and shaped the act of performance, and the possible reasons for casting children as rule-breakers, sexual deviants, and seducers in a pedagogical context. Plays and masques with antimasque style roles were performed by schoolgirls and boys, including a boy who played an unruly scholar celebrating truancy in song, young ladies who sang as Furies and witches, and schoolgirl dancers who enacted scenes of murder and violence. Children of both genders also practiced the arts of musical seduction: a boy, Wentworth Randall, sang as Dame Siren in Apollo Shroving (1627), before his costume was violently torn from him, revealing a monstrous fish tail; a girl sang to persuade Paris to choose Venus and pleasure in Beauties Triumph (1676), even as she warned of the dangers of doing so. As these entertainments reveal, the performance of vice was dialectical – the pedagogues who crafted the entertainments claimed they displayed immorality only to uncloak its rottenness. Yet, given early modern pedagogical theories, there was also the very real danger that children might become what they performed – imitatio gone terribly wrong.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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  • Performing Vice
  • Amanda Eubanks Winkler, Syracuse University, New York
  • Book: Music, Dance, and Drama in Early Modern English Schools
  • Online publication: 14 May 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108858984.006
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  • Performing Vice
  • Amanda Eubanks Winkler, Syracuse University, New York
  • Book: Music, Dance, and Drama in Early Modern English Schools
  • Online publication: 14 May 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108858984.006
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Performing Vice
  • Amanda Eubanks Winkler, Syracuse University, New York
  • Book: Music, Dance, and Drama in Early Modern English Schools
  • Online publication: 14 May 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108858984.006
Available formats
×