Castle is also impossible to find in the dark.
Karen Newman recounts an example of a communally enforced skimmington
against a married couple and notes: "The community's ritual against the couple who transgresses prevailing codes of gender behavior seeks to reestablish those conventional modes of behavior--it seeks to sanction a patriarchal order." See Karen Newman, Fashioning Femininity and English Renaissance Drama (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1991), 35-36.
Although its interest in the poetry is also fleeting, it does include a reading of "The Bride-Night Fire" that suggests the community of the poem is duty bound to observe the custom of the skimmington
, a custom that appears to have a dual nature "as a force to socially extinguish, and as a kind of ritual that 'cleanses' or purifies the village" (p.
Katritzky examines the skimmington
or social shaming ritual in Samuel Butler s three-part poem Hudibras (1664).
The play makes much of this image, depicting Swetnam muzzled by a group of angered women in a carnivalesque episode redolent of a skimmington
For example, his discussion of the Skimmington
ritual is a fine example of how he uses case studies to explain his argument.
(12) In England, charivaris often involved "riding skimmington
," in which an abused husband (or a surrogate, such as a neighbor or effigy figure) was forced to ride facing backwards through a mocking crowd (Ingram 82-6).
Here the playwrights amplified a detail from the deposition, supplementing the boy's alleged equine transformation with a number of other horses, including Robert's and Mistress Generous's metamorphoses as well as Mall and Robert's riding of a magic horse, and the animal used in a skimmington
in act 4.
It included merry tales; ballads mocking obnoxious suitors; farce; often obscene jigs, such as those performed by Shakespeare's clown, Will Kempe; festive rituals such as Hocktide, Horn Fair, and the skimmington
; commedia dell'arte lazzi; and so on.
In Britain, charivari, known variously as 'rough music', 'skimmington
' or 'hussitting', (30) was most often an intervention into domestic life, against those who transgressed sexual/marital norms.
Female infidelity or inappropriate household dominance also proved fodder for public ridicule through the folk rituals of the charivari and skimmington
. In his study of politics and culture in early seventeenth century England, David Underdown notes the centuries-old use of charivari, a European folk practice, used to humiliate those who had violated communal standards.
The continuation of the ancient meme of patriarchy, as expressed, for example, by the Skimmington
, is shown to predict the controversy over the existence of female-perpetrated violence and male victims, a controversy that saw academics who sought to expose such violence being subjected to intimidation and abuse.