• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare how Shakespeare and Hardy present the role of their tragic heroines within society in 'Romeo and Juliet' and 'Tess of

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare how Shakespeare and Hardy present the role of their tragic heroines within society in 'Romeo and Juliet' and 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles'? Shakespeare's Juliet, of 'Romeo and Juliet' and Hardy's 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles' share many characteristics which make them tragic heroines. Their individual battles with their societies, and their distorted moral codes and prejudices, toughens their spirits and reinforces their determination to succeed and reach their personal goals. In their contemporary societies, where women were generally oppressed and marginalised within literature, these strong female characters were seen as controversial and divisive. Although Juliet and Tess are characters from disparate backgrounds and societies, there are remarkable similarities between the two both in their characters and the way they are seen within society. The tragic heroine is often the most powerful within literature. One of the reasons for the interest in women is their interesting and complicated role within society. Many societies and cultures regard women in high esteem, however, at the same time, they are often treated unfairly and indifferently by their societies. Juliet Capulet from Shakespeare's play 'Romeo and Juliet' and Tess Derbyfield from Thomas Hardy's novel 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles' are prime examples of tragic heroines. They symbolise her constant spirit and determination and are typical products of their authors and also the times and societies in which they were created. ...read more.

Middle

Although they were aware that she detested Alec D'Urberville, they still encouraged the idea of marriage between the two. Quote. Similarly, Juliet's parents encouraged a loveless marriage between her and the County Paris. Quote. In both texts, the parents' desires were fuelled by social advance rather than the happiness and welfare of their daughters. Although the 16th and 19th century societies were relatively similar in their views and treatment of women, there are significant differences in the way literary representations of women were received. By the late 19th century, women writers were much more acceptable than in Shakespeare's time, when there were virtually no female writers. Though both Shakespeare and Hardy are male writers, presenting the female point of view, Shakespeare's position was much more restricted. The playwright had to keep his characters conservative and primarily acceptable to the upper classes and royalty inevitably present in his audiences. By the 19th century, the female voice was strongly established within literature, with successful female writers such as the Bront� sisters and Louisa May Alcott. To be described as 'tragic heroines', in one sense, is correct. Both Juliet and Tess die for their love and personal beliefs. However, 'The Dictionary of Literary Terms' says; 'The tragic hero will most effectively evoke our pity and terror if (s)he is neither thoroughly good nor thoroughly evil but a mixture of both.' ...read more.

Conclusion

Tess Main similarities between the two heroines, 1. Star-crossed lovers make their own rules. Although they both fall for apparently the wrong people, (not the one who she had sex with, and the one from the wrong family- not the prince) 2. Sacrifice their own happiness for other people 3. Not appreciated by society. Main differences between the two heroines, 1. Juliet is rich, like Shakespeare? Tess is poor, like Hardy. Purpose and meaning of characters- social novel- acts as a general criticism of society and its attitude to these women. Other characters' learning from the tragic heroines highlights the message and purpose intended... (Angel Clare and the Montagues and Capulets) When Tess was published it received mixed criticism- challenged many accepted Victorian assumptions about society, sexual morality, and religion. Sold well as it was subject of scandal. Shakespeare also challenged the moral assumptions of his society but not to as great a degree. Commissioned by/ shown to royalty? - risky? Why did Shakespeare write 'Romeo and Juliet'? Social novels, social commentary/ comment. Writers trying to communicate their social views through drama and the publication of a serial in a magazine. Tess is a metaphor for all of nature and through her, Hardy protests the take over of technology and the disappearance of country traditions. Hardy's strong preference for the natural values of the country over urban life, and for the peasant class over the middle classes. Intro- general point of the book Introduce similarities and differences Detail of points Form, lang, genre, structure Conclusion ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Tess of the d'Urbervilles section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Tess of the d'Urbervilles essays

  1. Compare the ways in which the Writers of 'The Handmaid's Tale' and 'Tess of ...

    and sees them as representing her own proscribed existence as a "two legged womb". In the same way, the barren "Wives" are forced to wear blue, a 'cold' colour, and are described in terms of decay ("her greying hair spreading like mildew over the rug")

  2. Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891) by Thomas Hardy.

    The forces that rule human life are absolutely unpredictable and not necessarily well-disposed to us. The pre-Christian rituals practiced by the farm workers at the opening of the novel, and Tess's final rest at Stonehenge at the end, remind us of a world where the gods are not just and fair, but whimsical and uncaring.

  1. Examine how Hardy uses setting to explore related themes and issues.

    "Where was Tess' guardian angel?". Hardy challenges many fundamental Christian beliefs, and wonders if there was a God or a higher power, why they would let such cruel things happen to such an innocent girl, as Tess was. "I am forbidden to believe that the great Power who moves the world would alter his plans on my account."

  2. In many respects Tess is a victim of society, but what other factors contribute ...

    shocking thing to happen to any girl outside marriage at the time. She tries not to look too nice, because she is afraid another man might take advantage of her. She mistrusts men and does not feel comfortable in their company.

  1. Hardy's skill in creating mood through the use of nature in his novel 'Tess ...

    While Tess is walking to Talbothays, Hardy uses nature to echo Tess's newfound hope, as everywhere is lush, alive and effulgent. Hardy has used pathetic fallacy here, as nature seems to be in sympathy with her affairs. Nature also seems to be conveying signs of hope and friendship to her,

  2. Tess of the D'urbervilles.

    In her earlier youth and spring of life, she came to The Chase naive and ignorant of the nature of men. And there at The Chase, she is ensnared by Alec d'Urberville's charms.

  1. To what extent are the outcomes of 'Tess of the d'Urbervilles' and Anouilh's 'Antigone' ...

    Angel's uncompromising morality and idealism hinder him from accepting Tess as she is. The concept of fate is used greatly throughout this chapter as what if the parson hadn't told Jack Durbeyfield of his relatives? He wouldn't have gone out and got drunk leaving Tess to go to the market, which would have prevented the death of Prince.

  2. Why are there so many fallen women in Victorian literature?

    This would seem again to be again the middle-class simply knowing "what's best" for the lower classes. "Even in lands where a high degree of morality and attachment to domestic life prevails, the measure of the moral strictness of the people is too often the bitterness of their treatment of the erring woman, and of her alone.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work