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The Hurt(ful) BodyPerforming and Beholding Pain, 1600-1800$
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Tomas Macsotay, Cornelis van der Haven, and Karel Vanhaesebrouck

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781784995164

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784995164.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 01 July 2022

Masochism and the female gaze

Masochism and the female gaze

(p.115) 5 Masochism and the female gaze
The Hurt(ful) Body

John Yamamoto-Wilson

Manchester University Press

In this chapter, Yamamoto-Wilson examines the role of the Other’s gaze in early modern masochistic fantasy, starting with reader responses to martyrologies (particularly Foxe), hagiography and bloody histories, and moving on to erotic and proto-pornographic narratives (among which Nicholas Chorier’s Satyra Sotadica is preeminent) and narratives of sexual insecurity. Georges Duby, Lisa Silverman and others have argued that, in the late Middle Ages, dolor was the property of women, and Melissa Sanchez demonstrates how, in the early modern period, the political subject was discursively feminized through injunctions to suffer. The gaze of the Other both emasculates and humiliates, but perseverance in suffering (whether in the martyr’s sacrifice or the masochist’s fantasy) leads, paradoxically, to triumph. While the Other is sometimes depicted as male, there is an emergent sense of a transgressive female gaze, reflected in the writings of Thomas Nashe, Samuel Butler, Mary Wroth and others. This chapter focuses on the male anxiety generated by the gaze of a female Other in the literary discourse of early modern England.

Keywords:   The Other; Masochism; Female gaze; Male anxiety, Hagiography

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