This article engages with the critical lenses of new historicism and presentism, using Fadwa Tuqan’s A Mountainous Journey and the discourse of Palestinian female martyrs as contemporary intertexts to scrutinize women’s silence, speech, and authorial identity in Mary Sidney’s early modern English work The Tragedy of Antony. I contend this text enabled Sidney to construct a narrative of mourning for her brother Philip Sidney, just as Tuqan uses her writing to mourn her brother Ibrahim Tuqan. It is argued here that Sidney’s and Tuqan’s creation of their authorial identities emanated from their close relationships with their brothers. I argue that Sidney’s memorialization of Philip Sidney by persuading Queen Elizabeth to support Protestant military intervention in the Netherlands bears a striking similarity to Tuqan’s memorialization of her brother. Tuqan continued Ibrahim’s work of nationalist poetry in her critique of the Israeli occupation that reinforces traditions that stifle women. I propose that women’s writing and Palestinian female martyrs’ acts of suicide bombing both signal women's erasure of their bodies.

Author Biography

Bilal Hamamra has a PhD in Early Modern Drama from the University of Lancaster, UK and is currently an associate professor of English literature in the Department of English Language and Literature, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine. His research interests are in Early Modern Drama, Shakespeare, Palestinian literature, women’s writings, and gender studies. His articles on language, gender politics, martyrdom and diaspora have appeared in Early Modern Literary Studies, Critical Survey, ANQ, Journal for Cultural Research, Journal of Gender Studies, Journal of Contemporary Asia, Anglia, Middle East Critique, Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, Educational Philosophy and Theory, Arab Studies Quarterly, Social Identities, International Studies in Sociology of Education, Interventions, Psychodynamic Practice and Changing English, among others.