‘Hail, reverend Structure!’ Questioning Patriarchal Parenthood in the Aquatic Imagery of Grottoes in Court Masques

by Caterina Guardini

Jonson’s Neptune’s Triumph for the Return of Albion (1624), Daniel’s Tethy’s Festival (1610), and Jonson’s Love’s Triumph through Callipolis (1631) explore the representation of royal private and political patriarchy within the Stuart courts of James I and Charles I. By questioning the representation of gender and parenthood, this paper aims at conjecturing the conflictual variety of audience-responses to the aquatic imagery of Mannerist garden grottoes at work in these shows in order to investigate whether the motherly agency of Queen Anna is really erased by James I’s imagery of aquatic patriarchy or if it survives in Charles’s mnemonic reception during his later performances on the masquing stage.