Lies, Evasions, and Friendly Networks in Mary Wroth's Urania

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Publication Date

Winter 2021


In The Countess of Montgomery's Urania, Mary Wroth highlights the familiar likeness-based rivalries that attend friendship. But rather than respond to this tension with physical conflict, the female friends in Wroth's romance lie and deceive in order to circumvent such antagonism. These lies prove to be a novel way to sublimate ugly sentiments in relations as well as a means to expand the range of emotions that a relationship may contain. In depicting this affective expansion, Wroth challenges the romantically inflected social paradigm that valorizes the pursuit of dyadic partnerships and articulates an ethic of friendship that seeks the establishment of larger social networks.



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