Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Cruelty and LaughterForgotten Comic Literature and the Unsentimental Eighteenth Century$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Simon Dickie

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226146188

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226146201.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use (for details see www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 21 October 2018

Rape Jokes and the Law

Rape Jokes and the Law

Chapter:
(p.190) Chapter Five Rape Jokes and the Law
Source:
Cruelty and Laughter
Author(s):

Simon Dickie

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226146201.003.0006

Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa brought to eighteenth-century British culture an awareness of sexual violence. Despite the sadoeroticism in sentimental rape plots, these fictions created an environment in which there was a new willingness to believe in and admire “female” emotions. Accompanied by Enlightenment assertions about the moral and intellectual equality of women, the legal definition of rape as a property crime was shifting toward something more in keeping with the modern definition. The chapter tackles a wide literary archive of puns, catchphrases, offhand comments, and the wry slant of newspaper reports on rape. The author then studies the everyday comic perspectives on rape during this period—humor that focuses on legal scenarios. The main concern, of the chapter is to get a glimpse behind the judicial practice on rape within this period through the lens of comic sources—with the hope that the legal history will be helpful in making sense of the literary sources.

Keywords:   sexual violence, Samuel Richardson, Clarissa, enlightenment, equality of women, rape, property crime, comic perspectives

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.