Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Open Access
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
Food is a common motif across the Shakespearean cannon. From early plays to late plays, comedies to dramas, food appears in a variety of instances, functioning in numerous ways. Frequently representative of social class or serving as a cultural marker, food in Shakespeare can be innocent and passive, but it has the potential to contribute to scenes of violence. Foodstuffs in Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, Titus Andronicus, and Coriolanus contribute to the brutal harms committed in the plays, specifically in scenes of violence against women. Characters use foodstuffs as pejorative metaphors, like the subjugation of Volumnia in the context of the body politic in Coriolanus, and use literal foodstuffs on stage, like the human pie in the final feast scene of Titus, in order to specifically target and attack the female characters on the basis of their gender.
Nierle, Juliet, "Pastries and Plots: Food Rhetoric and Gender Struggles in Shakespeare’s Plays" (2023). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 1950.