Cathleen McKague


Doctoral researcher

Shakespeare Institute


Contact details


PhD title: ‘[A]n hermaphrodite, two parts / in one’: The androgynous as grotesque and divine in Jonson, Marston, and Shakespeare
Supervisor: Professor Ewan Fernie
PhD Shakespeare Studies


I investigate competing representations of androgyny as either grotesque or divine in selected works by Ben Jonson, John Marston, and William Shakespeare. The literary grotesque is a combination of incompatibles - such as the combination of masculine and feminine - which evokes simultaneous reactions of laughter and revulsion, while the divine is that which inspires awe and wonder through its otherworldliness. I also utilise Mark Spilka’s understanding of the grotesque as productive of empathy. Thus, my research dialogues with current studies on the history of emotion, while also engaging with queer and gender studies and the burgeoning division of criticism on Shakespeare and religion.


  • The Tempest in Portable Two.’ Teaching Shakespeare: Policy, Pedagogy, Practice 4 (2013): 9-11. Print.
  • ‘Brave New World: Shakespeare’s “Expat Experience” in London.’ The Birmingham Journal of Literature and Language 4 (2012): 16-24. Print.

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