Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Revisionary Re-Reading: A New Critical Direction for the Shakespeare Canon

Marilynn Loveless.

What if an extraordinarily gifted woman, of humble birth, were born in Elizabethan England and circumstances conspired to give her rare access to a world of privilege and the opportunity to learn how to read and write; how might such a clever woman have worked the system to her advantage? The absence of information about her life provides a space for speculation about Anne Hathaway.

Feminist criticism began as resistance to a patriarchal heritage that excluded the feminine voice. For women, one of the advantages of being outside the power structure is the ability to look around and see the “other” marginalized members of the community camped outside the fortress of power/knowledge—a view obscured to the power elite by the very walls they built to exclude women, classes, religions, races and nationalities.

The narrow scope in this study, which is largely limited to the consideration of feminine authorship, is both a conscious choice and a necessary strategy for the specific purposes of the hypothesis proposed herein. At the same time, readers and like-minded scholars are invited to appropriate the strategies and tactics outlined in this paper, in order to create their own alternate theories that--in a non-hierarchical brave new world such as cyberspace--should eventually be able to co-exist without fear of paradox.

(NOTE: What began as an award-winning treatment for a screenplay in 1995 eventually evolved into a dissertation topic, exploring the complex matrix of interconnected ideas and questions related to a new theory of Shakespearean authorship. This paper is based on chapter five of a soon-to-be-submitted dissertation entitled “Mrs. Shakespeare: Muse, Mother, Matriarch, Madonna, Whore, Writer, Woman, Wife—Recovering A Lost Life.”)


Marilynn Loveless  (United States)
Artistic Director
Theatre Studies
Walla Walla College

Marilynn Loveless is currently the Artistic Director of the drama program at Walla Walla College. She recently submitted her dissertation—"Mrs. Shakespeare: Muse, Mother, Matriarch, Madonna, Whore, Writer, Woman, Wife--Recovering a Lost Life"-- for examination at Griffith University in Queensland Australia.

  • Fictocriticism
  • Feminism
  • Deconstructing Canons
Person as Subject
  • Shakespeare, Mrs.

(Virtual Presentation, English)