Emily Dickinson, Death, and the Subversion of Femininity September 2018- TBD

Emily Dickinson uses death in her poetry not as literal death, but rather to illustrate a change or transformation. As a woman, during the time of the “true womanhood” cultural influence, she experienced a traumatic experience; according to Marne Carmean in The Rape and Recovery of Emily Dickinson[i], this experience is related to the “paternal sexual aggression” evident in her poetry (xiv). With this understanding, I argue that Dickinson uses death to demonstrate the transformation in herself from the sexual advances of Edward Dickinson and afterwards, and illuminates her separation from the ideal “true woman” within this transformation.

[i] Carmean, Marne. The Rape and Recovery of Emily Dickinson: In Her Words: Poems of Witness and Worth. Xlibris, 2008.


Research looking at the correlations between Feminine Gothic tropes typically identified within British Gothic Era texts and Shakespearean females. I take both Macbeth and Hamlet in comparison to the Asian film adaptations Throne of Blood and The Banquet, respectively. I consider the following in addressing the missing part of Gothic scholarship in regards to the Shakespearean/Gothic crossover already addressed: How the Feminine Gothic can be a lens to readdress how we read Shakespeare and Shakespearean adaptions? I consider, but do not limit, to the following:

  • How well Shakespearean Females can be categorized by Feminine Gothic tropes.

  • The radicalization of Shakespeare's females using the Feminine Gothic as a specific lens for the British Gothic Era.

  • How do Shakespearean adaptions, primarily in Asian film, display Feminine Gothic tropes more accurately and explicitly?

  • In what ways do the female characters in the adaptations perform differently or similarly with Shakespeare’s original characters (Primarily looking at Lady Macbeth, Ophelia, and Gertrude)?