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“He is rather peculiar, perhaps”: Reading Mr Rochester’s coarseness queerly
journal contributionposted on 04.09.2018, 14:51 by Claire O'Callaghan
This article re-examines the accusation of coarseness directed at Edward Fairfax Rochester, the male protagonist of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1847). Elizabeth Rigby condemned Rochester as coarse for challenging normative modes of male gender and sexuality. In re-thinking Rigby’s critique, this paper provides an original reading of Brontë’s novel that explores Rochester’s ‘coarse’ behaviours as representative of queer masculinity. Drawing on contemporary queer theoretical discourse, the article suggests that Brontë’s male protagonist articulates a range of queer masculine possibilities that valuably registers a resistance to dominant ways of being in the nineteenth century. As such, I propose that Jane Eyre offers insight into the flexible ways with which Brontë conceived of male subjectivity.
- The Arts, English and Drama
- English and Drama