Queer Time and “Sideways Growth” in The Roaring Girl

  • Melissa Welshans


“Queer Time and ‘Sideways Growth’ in The Roaring Girl” argues that The Roaring Girl’s Moll Cutpurse presents a queer critique of heteronormative temporality by, in the words of Kathryn Bond Stockton, “growing sideways” instead of “growing up.” Unlike Sebastian Wengrave and Mary Fitzallard, Moll, like Stockton’s “queer child,” delays temporal advancement and revels in the time before marriage as she refuses her own entrance into the institution. Furthermore, Moll’s physical size embodies this critique as her fat body symbolizes her refusal of containment and control. And while The Roaring Girl does not theorize a temporal framework outside linear futurity, it nonetheless suggests that premarital time can offer pleasure and vitality to those who cannot or will not “progress” through “straight” time.



I would like to thank the Syracuse University Humanities Center and the Shakespeare Association of America, both of which partially funded my travel to the 2016 meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America where I participated in the seminar “Queering Childhood.” I would also like to thank the seminar leaders and participants, as well as Crystal Bartolovich, for their insightful feedback on various drafts of this chapter.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melissa Welshans
    • 1
  1. 1.Syracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA

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