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Kristine Steenbergh

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This chapter examines the relations between the performance of emotion and the experience of self in Shakespeare’s Hamlet from a gender perspective. It argues that the revenge tragedy contrasts two different models of the relation between the outward performance of emotion and the inward experience of it. On the one hand, the prince makes an often-quoted distinction between the external signs of grief and the inner self. On the other hand, the play also problematizes the effeminizing effects that the performance of emotion and the imitation of signs of anger have on the self. This chapter relates the play’s representation of the relation between the performance of emotion and the self both to early modern debates about the effects of acted passion and to current (cultural-historical) theory on the transmission and effects of emotion.

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Sexed Sentiments

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Gender and Emotion

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Edited by Willemijn Ruberg and Kristine Steenbergh

Sexed Sentiments provides a gender perspective on the recent turn to affect in criticism. It presents new work by scholars from different disciplines working on gender and emotion, a field par excellence where an interdisciplinary focus is fruitful. This collection presents essays from disciplines like history, literary studies, psychology, sociology and queer studies, focusing on subjects varying from masculinity in the cult of sensibility to the role of empathy in forging feminist solidarities. The volume illuminates how new theoretical approaches to both gender and emotion may be productively applied to a variety of fields.