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Are male characters who love other men outsiders for that reason in Shakespeare? How is the suspicion of women presented differently than suspicion of racial or religious outsiders? How do the speeches in which various outsiders stand up for the rights of their group compare? Can an outsider be admired? How and why do the plays shift sympathy for or against outsiders? How and why do they show similarities between outsiders and insiders? With chapters on Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, Othello, King Lear, The Tempest, and women as outsiders and insiders, this book considers such questions with attention both to recent historical research on Shakespeare's time and to specifics of the language of Shakespeare's plays and how they work on stage and screen.
Marianne Novy is Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh. She has written Love's Argument: Gender Relations in Shakespeare (North Carolina, 1984), Engaging with Shakespeare: On Responses of George Eliot and Other Women Novelists (Georgia, 1994), and Reading Adoption: Family and Difference in Fiction and Drama (Michigan, 2005). She has edited four collections of essays, three of them dealing with appropriations of Shakespeare by women writers and performers up to the present. She also initiated and developed the Faculty Diversity Seminar at the University of Pittsburgh and the Alliance for the Study of Adoption and Culture, an international academic organization.