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Her Majesty’s Secret Service: Judi Dench’s M and Her Monarchial Tenure

From Blofeld to Moneypenny: Gender in James Bond

ISBN: 978-1-83867-163-1, eISBN: 978-1-83867-165-5

Publication date: 26 March 2020

Abstract

The role of M in the Bond films has altered radically in the modern Bond franchise – due in part to the casting of Dame Judi Dench as M. This chapter argues that M as portrayed by Dench asserts a monarch-like power and authority in her role as Bond’s commander, an authority that can be compared to that of the current monarch Queen Elizabeth II in both her real and imagined performances. It will examine how M as depicted by Dench fits into the legacy of the male M’s that came before her. It then compares the problematic relationship for both women with motherhood; their common refusal to employ emotive feminine manipulation to maintain their authority and how this authority utilises language and address. In doing so it will assert that both Dench’s M and Queen Elizabeth II put duty and their professional lives first – devoting themselves to the service of others.

Keywords

Citation

Allen, C. (2020), "Her Majesty’s Secret Service: Judi Dench’s M and Her Monarchial Tenure", Gerrard, S. (Ed.) From Blofeld to Moneypenny: Gender in James Bond (Emerald Studies in Popular Culture and Gender), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 129-139. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-83867-165-520201013

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020 Charlotte Allen