Entering Elizabeth: Eating And Gender At The Elizabethan Court

Sasha Garwood
In Volume 1, Issue 1
Spring 2010

Abstract

This paper explores Elizabeth I’s use of gendered rhetoric and manipulation of food intake and dining ritual to subvert the ways in which her opponents used her femininity to denigrate her ability to rule. Exploring first the androgyny of her verbal self-representation, with its split between descriptions of her physical self and a masculinised body politic, it proceeds to consider her careful manipulation of the rituals, language and ideologies of food consumption, focusing on the ways in which she conveyed pabular impenetrability to construct opposition to the assumption of sexual penetrability inherent on possession of a female body.

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