Xianfeng Mou analyzes in her paper, "Cultural Anxiety and the Female Body in Zeffirelli's Hamlet," the workings of power, both discursive and visual, behind Zeffirelli's handling of the Nunnery and Mousetrap scenes, focusing on feminist interpretations of the female body and female sexuality. Drawing on theories by Judith Butler, Michel Foucault, and Julia Kristeva, Mou analyzes how Zeffirelli, using Hamlet as his spokesman, constructs his negative meanings about Gertrude's sexuality as rampant and aberrant and Ophelia's body as disloyal, insincere, and insignificant. Mou argues that Zeffirelli's discursive and visual constructions confer absolute power upon Hamlet and that this reflects Zeffirelli's intentions as well as society's desire for more power over the female body. That cultural desire, in turn, disguises male anxiety about the power of women in cultural production.
"Cultural Anxiety and the Female Body in Zeffirelli's Hamlet."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
This text has been double-blind peer reviewed by 2+1 experts in the field.
The above text, published by Purdue University Press ©Purdue University, has been downloaded 2836 times as of 11/24/14. Note: the download counts of the journal's material are since Issue 9.1 (March 2007), since the journal's format in pdf (instead of in html 1999-2007).
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture is published by Purdue University Press ©Purdue University in open access. Please support the journal: Click here for more information and to make your donation online.