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Student Research Projects

Shakespeare's Women

Student Kerri-Leanne Taylor, ‘15
Faculty Mentor(s) Dr. James Hall
Department English
Course ENG 346: Shakespeare I

Abstract

Tudor England was a man’s world. Mankind reigned supreme, and women were simply men’s inferior, imperfect counterparts. Scholars have long studied documents pertaining to the practices and beliefs during the English renaissance, revealing the female standards of the time period. Women were to be seen, not heard; controlled, never free; and property, rather than conscious, able beings. However, some figures challenged the discrepancies between the sexes, including the famous poet and playwright William Shakespeare. A great pioneer of the Tudor world, not only in literary terms, Shakespeare was a devout activist for feminism; an overarching, yet subtle admiration of the female sex is apparent in a great deal of his works. Moreover, Shakespeare’s revolutionary thinking, or simply the courage to profess it via the stage, aided in transforming the previously misogynistic interpretation of women into a more balanced view of the sexes.

 

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