Send the link below via email or IMCopy
Present to your audienceStart remote presentation
- Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present
- People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account
- This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation
- A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation
- Learn more about this feature in our knowledge base article
Shakespeare and Women
Transcript of Shakespeare and Women
While the information may lead us to believe this is the case, there is plenty of counter argument available.
If nothing else,
The Duchess of Malfi
retains at least a title female character, and
The White Devil
is ambiguous in its nature, even if neither of them are female heavy in terms of lines.
The Classical Greek Tragedians however, offer a range of Tragedies both titled and/or led be female characters. Euripides'
all offer narratives focused around, and especially in Euripides' case, led by women.
Yet when feminist criticism allows Ophelia to upstage Hamlet, it also brings to the foreground the issues in an
ongoing theoretical debate about the cultural links between femininity, female sexuality, insanity, and
representation. Though she is neglected in criticism, Ophelia is probably the most frequently illustrated and
cited of Shakespeare's heroines. Her visibility as a subject in literature, popular culture, and painting, from
Redon who paints her drowning, to Bob Dylan, who places her on Desolation Row, to Cannon Mills, which
has named a flowery sheet pattern after her, is in inverse relation to her invisibility in Shakespearean critical
texts. Why has she been such a potent and obsessive figure in our cultural mythology? Insofar as Hamlet
names Ophelia as “woman” and “frailty,” substituting an ideological view of femininity for a personal one,
is she indeed representative of Woman, and does her madness stand for the oppression of women in society as
well as in tragedy? Furthermore, since Laertes calles Ophelia a “document in madness,” does she represent
the textual archetype of woman as madness or madness as woman? And finally, how should feminist criticism
represent Ophelia in its own discourse? What is our responsibility towards her as character and as woman?
The Denmark Shakespeare presents is so oppressive that the only option left for his female characters is suicide.
To what extent do you agree with this assessment of
as a play?
Shakespeare and Women
Does Shakespeare Struggle with Women?
Antony & Cleopatra:
Antony (840) > Cleopatra (680)
Coriolanus (675) >[1 Character]>Volumnia (311)
Brutus (722) >[4 Characters]>Portia (92)
Lear (749) >[5 Characters]> Goneril (199)
Macbeth (715) > Lady Macbeth (259)
Iago (1088) > [1 Character] > Desdemona (391)
Romeo & Juliet:
Romeo (617) > Juliet (542)
Titus (711) > [2 Characters] > Tamora (257)
Ophelia in Particular
'she is linked forever, for centuries, to the figure of Hamlet.'
‘we can imagine Hamlet’s story without Ophelia, but Ophelia literally has no story without Hamlet’.
L.O. - To
a Feminist critique of Hamlet.
From your knowledge of Hamlet and any other Shakespearean text you have studied, do you think Shakespeare offers convincing female characters?
Does this information support or reject that?
What about these plays perhaps accounts for this shift?
To what extent do you agree with these interpretations of Ophelia as a character?