Who is listening? A Maske Presented at Ludlow Castle, Alice Egerton, and Queer Erotics
The opacity of the Lady’s desire has animated discussions of Milton’s A Maske Presented at Ludlow Castle for centuries, but there has been no analysis of the potentially erotic quality of the one physically liberating encounter she has in the text—her interaction with Sabrina. By reconsidering both Alice Egerton’s 1634 performance and the subsequent emphasis on virginity in the print versions in the context of her broader participation in song coteries, this paper explores how A Maske opens up erotic possibilities of queer gender and sexuality that defy the disciplinary initiation into supposedly virtuous heterosexuality and heterotemporality. This approach both illuminates the masque’s sexual politics, and reconsiders the collaborative production of Milton’s work.
About the Premodern Studies Seminar Series
The Newberry’s Milton Seminar is organized by Stephen Fallon (University of Notre Dame), Christopher Kendrick (Loyola University Chicago), Katarzyna Lecky (Loyola University), Paula McQuade (DePaul University), and Regina Schwartz (Northwestern University).