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Can You See It

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Alicia Hanna 0602287 Shakespearean Drama Discuss the presentation of women in two of plays you have studied. Did Shakespeare have a problem with his daughters, Susanna, Hamnet and Judith? History does not relate the answer, but in his plays, the problem is certainly a major concern. In King Lear, Lear organizes a disastrous competition to see which of his daughters loves him most. At the end of his romantic comedy The Tempest, there is reconciliation between Prospero and his daughter Miranda. Here, however, I am going to look at four other daughters: Juliet, Portia, Jessica and Desdemona. Examining how far are they controlled by there fathers and how far protected? As well as, how each relationship reflect the position of women in Elizabethan society? In Romeo and Juliet, Juliet is presented to us as a complex character. She is intelligent but na�ve, innocent yet rebellious and disobedient. Although, Juliet is only fourteen she speaks with the wisdom and insight of a mature and experienced woman. Initially, Her reasoning is rationale although her actions are often rash. In Juliet's first meeting with her mother and the nurse, Juliet shows herself to be a docile, dutiful child. She comes when she is called, responding respectfully to her mother: "Madam, I am here, / What is your will?" ...read more.


It would seem as though Portia's father through his will is still in control of his daughter's life even after his own encounter with mortality. He sees portion as his possession, and through the nature of his will he choose who the possession of his Portia is transferred to. It is difficult nonetheless, to conclude that term of the will were strictly to control Portia. It was his duty as a father to provide for and protect Portia who would be seen as she was the 'weaker sex'. He placed the picture of Portia in the casket of lead, showing that he wanted his daughter to find someone who would love her, and was not concern with her wealth, someone who would forgo silver or gold, and choose of the three lead. Portia's love interest Bassanio ends up being the suitor who chose the correct casket of lead, which held Portia's picture. When Bassanio spoke to Antonio the first words that Bassanio uttered, in describing Portia was concerned her wealth and then mentioned her beauty. In Act II Scene II he says, In Belmont is a lady richly left, And she is fair and, fairer than the word.8 This showed that even Bassanio, who chose the casket of lead, was motivated by possessing the gold that would accompany his marriage to Portia. ...read more.


The fate of disobedient Shakespearean women is often death, however, Jessica fate was quite different, she marries Lorenzo the man she loves, become an heiress to Shylock's possession and ends up in blissful Belmont as a result of her disobedience to the Jewish, villain Shylock. If Shylock had not been the villain in the Merchant of Venice Jessica's disregard for the principles of a model Elizabethan her fate would have been similar to the character of Juliet. 1 In Othello, the Moor of Venice she was presented as Cassio's lover. 2 The wife of Iago "the honest.". 3 A Shakespearean play written somewhere between the years of 1596 and 1598. 4 Daughter of Shylock "the villain" in the Merchant of Venice. 5 She was wife to Romeo, and daughter to Capulet in Shakespeare's tragedy of Romeo and Juliet 6 The daughter of Barbantio and loyal wife to Othello. 7 Act I Scence II, line 18-23, Merchant of Venice 8 Act I Scene II, line 161-162, Merchant of Venice 9 Act IV Scene I lines 304-307, Merchant of Venice 10 Act II Scene II line , Merchant of Venice 11 Act II Scene V, lines 28-36, Merchant of Venice 12 Act II Scene XI, lines 15-22,Merchant of Venice 13 Act III Scene I, lines 83-85, Merchant of Venice 14 Act III Scene I, line 32, Merchant of Venice ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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