By K. Kippola
Exploring the functionality of masculinity off and on the nineteenth-century American degree, this ebook seems on the shift from the passionate muscularity to highbrow restraint as now not a linear trip towards nationwide refinement; but a multitude of masculinities scuffling with at the same time for dominance and popularity.
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Extra resources for Acts of Manhood: The Performance of Masculinity on the American Stage, 1828–1865
Rollins found Lincoln “a unique specimen of the human family . . long, lank and awkward . . the real Yankee. . ”52 Here, “sympathy” suggests understanding rather than pity, although both responses may have occurred simultaneously. Framing Lincoln as a true “Yankee” invites comparisons to the socially awkward Jonathan character (introduced in The Contrast), a dramatic fixture on the American stage, who similarly spoke plainly and had no idea of what to do with his hands and feet. Even in his bid for reelection in 1864, the Comic Monthly derided his inelegance: “His anatomy is composed mostly of notes, and when walking he resembles the off-spring of a happy marriage between a derrick and wind-mill.
The 1828 election marked an abrupt shift in what had been a gradual transformation. Jackson’s conspicuous performance of virility sharply contrasted with Adams’s reserved manner and bearing. Adams talked the talk of an eighteenth-century gentleman whose relevance was fading, championing an elevated speech and comportment that, Cmiel argues, soon would be self-defeating: “By the mid-nineteenth century . . ”28 In contrast to these firmly entrenched traditions, Jackson was a war hero who was known for his temper and willingness to take political and personal action, which included assaulting and dueling men who insulted him.
Plays such as Cato (1712) by Englishman Joseph Addison inspired passionate responses. The upright Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis (Cato the Younger), along with Numidian prince Juba, virtuously fights for liberty and freedom against the tyranny of Julius Caesar. ” In fact, despite a Continental Congress ban on theatrical productions in 1774, General George Washington requested that the play, his favorite, be performed for the Continental Army while at Valley Forge. Washington was actually placed onstage as a masculine model in two plays by American William Dunlap (1766–1839).