The men in If You Know Not Me thus fetishize women as cartographic products that they alone can map, monitor, enjoy, and display as part of their strategy for economic and political legitimacy. Since Heywood's play converts aristocratic power and land ownership into maps and mercantile authority, the merchants can also dismiss a literal aristocratic bride in favor of any chaste woman who can be deployed as another owned and controlled object, in the case of the play, often cartographic ones. Theodora Jankowski in Pure Resistance: Queer Virginity in Early Modern English Drama explains how oftentimes in a union where the woman had not been previously wed, the bride's importance lay in her virginity; her husband's appropriation of her maidenhead often solidified the marriage through consummation that assured both famines that their property would be inherited by legitimate heirs. [...]men take on the defining and constructing of the concept of virginity," Jankowski explains, "because it is necessary for to them for the transfer of property to legitimate heirs. Territorial conquest also becomes linked to the possession of virgins, as the two themes converge in the plot to achieve the same end. [...]The Four Prentices draws on the connection, well established after thirty-four years of reign, that Elizabeth emphasized between her virgin body and England's geographical integrity. According to Mehl, Hey wood promotes Elizabeth's reign as a time of renewed charity when citizens more than the queen bring about that aid (170-171).
|Number of pages||23|
|Journal||Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
- Early Modern English