Reading with the author’s sex : a comparison of two seventeenth-century texts

Part of : Γράμμα : περιοδικό θεωρίας και κριτικής ; Vol.1, No.1, 1993, pages 123-136

The difference in the writing of men and women is actually a difference in reading their texts. Since men and women have occupied greatly unequal subject positions in history, their texts cannot be read the same way. The same “signifiers” correspond to different “signifieds in the male and the female text. Thus the sex of the author—or the gender of the speaking voice—should be a point of reference in constructing meaning, contrary to the post-structuralist view that the author-function is a matter of indifference. The comparison between Elizabeth Cary’s The Tragedie of Mariam and Philip Massinger’s The Duke of Milan illustrates that liberties taken by the male author in language, characterization and dramatic form are outside the range of options for the female author, who is writing in a culture that considered authorship an exclusively male prerogative, confined woman to silence and linked her voicing of ideas in public to sexual promiscuity.
Subject (LC):
Περιέχει σημειώσεις και βιβλιογραφία