Thesis

Gone goth: feminism and the female revenger in Titus Andronicus and Gone Girl

The main objective of this project is to examine the female revenger in William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus and Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. The female revenger often signifies cultural attitudes about a given society, as she exhibits behaviors that indicate male anxieties over what women are capable of. The female revenger is thus an apt vehicle in understanding the shifting status of women through history. Titus Andronicus and Gone Girl are central to this examination. The early modern era is credited with the popularization of the revenger character, and Titus Andronicus presents one of the first developed and central female revengers in an Elizabethan drama. Gone Girl is one of the more recent representations of the female revenger. Both texts rely on similar character tropes as Tamora and Amy utilize motherhood, aggressive sexuality, subjectivity, and several other facets of stereotypical femininity. The differences between the two texts indicate the shift in female subjectivity that allows for success. This examination necessitates a gloss of feminist movements that led to an increase in female agency and subjectivity. Without cultural shifts in attitudes towards women, Gillian Flynn could not have expanded on the female revenger trope popularized by William Shakespeare.

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