Shakespeare's Unruly Women

Synopsis

While Shakespeare did not create rebellious feminists in the modern sense of the term, nevertheless it is fascinating to see the variety of ways his heroines operate in, rebel against, attempt to rule, or are crushed by a hierarchical, male-oriented social structure.

Shakespeare's Unruly Women examines the ways in which the Victorian period interpreted Shakespeare's characters according to their own notions of what it meant to be a woman. It includes material from the late 18th and early 20th centuries but focuses primarily on the ways in which Shakespeare's heroines were appropriated into the moral, literary, and theatrical cultures of the 19th century. It looks at specific heroines, and at the turn-of-the-century psychoanalytic commentary occasioned by the 300th anniversary of Shakespeare's death in 1916.