Staging gender: masculinity, politics, and the passions in the pamphlet plays of the American Revolution Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Will, Tyler L.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
  • Whig and Tory authors made wide use of farces, tragedies, and dramatic dialogues in the print conflict that surrounded the American independence movement. Beyond familiar disputes over taxation, parliamentary representation, and government corruption, playwrights on both sides demonstrated concerns about the private character, virtue, and emotional life of leading political figures and common men. By analyzing the recurring motifs and subtexts of representative plays, I argue that a major flash point concerned the proper roles of emotion and reason in male action. Wartime controversies touched off a broad cultural debate about the dangers of unregulated passions, the importance of reason and virtue, and the role that emotion and self-control ought to play in public politics. Attending to these distinctions promises to revise historical appreciation of the American Revolution--if it was a contest of political or social ideals, it was also a revolution of sentiment and evolving conceptions of masculinity.
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  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in the Department of History."
  • Sweet, John Wood
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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