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'The representation of masculinity in the theatre of Federico García Lorca'

Sherwin, Christopher James (2005) 'The representation of masculinity in the theatre of Federico García Lorca'. Masters thesis, Durham University.



A theoretical framework is established by presenting an overview of Lorca criticism and of relevant work in gender and men's studies. Male invisibility (man viewed as universally human, woman, branded as different, viewed as the only sex), as expounded by De Beauvoir, emerges as a key issue. The thesis aims to demonstrate that Lorca's theatre refuses to accept male invisibility, preferring to use every opportunity to draw men out of the shadows and into the spotlight. It is argued that Lorca's theatre is constructed around defamiliarization techniques that set the theatrical space apart as a place in which the spectator is prompted to reflect on masculinity as an object of curiosity rather than as an unchallenged norm. The myriad processes that prompt the spectator to do so emphasise male characters. Men reflect on their own identity and women capture them in a powerful gaze, the inverse of the male gaze that objectifies women (as analysed by Mulvey with reference to cinema). An emphasis on female sexuality as need and on male eroticism as resolution further demonstrates male characters to be objects under observation. Chapter 4 shows male absence to be a variation of the above processes, ensuring that a man's masculinity is brought into focus even when he is not present. Offstage sound effects, the projection of the audience's gaze offstage, and the penetration of the stage space by metonymical objects are some of the techniques that achieve this, allowing reflection on concepts of masculinity without specific association with the male body and, therefore, alluding to the disassociation of sex and gender. Questions about the substance of masculinity are problematic due to frequent assaults on notions of innate fixed identity and the suggestion that gender may be nothing more than the process by which it is represented. It is the process of representation, therefore, that is the protagonist in the performance of gender, and whilst masculinity might be a hollow shell in Lorca' theatre, it is not, at least, one that hides in the shadows.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:2005
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:30

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