Shakespeare's Daughters

Overview

Shakespeare explored the father-daughter relationship again and again, often featuring a widower with an adolescent daughter who has spent most of her life under her father's control. The plays usually begin when the daughter is on the verge of womanhood and eager to make her own decisions, especially in matters of the heart. This work considers Capulet in Romeo and Juliet as an inept father to Juliet and Prospero in The Tempest as an able mentor to Miranda; Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Jessica in The ...
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Shakespeare's Daughters

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Overview

Shakespeare explored the father-daughter relationship again and again, often featuring a widower with an adolescent daughter who has spent most of her life under her father's control. The plays usually begin when the daughter is on the verge of womanhood and eager to make her own decisions, especially in matters of the heart. This work considers Capulet in Romeo and Juliet as an inept father to Juliet and Prospero in The Tempest as an able mentor to Miranda; Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Jessica in The Merchant of Venice and Desdemona in Othello as daughters who rebel against their fathers; Hero in Much Ado About Nothing, Lavinia in Titus Andronicus and Ophelia in Hamlet as daughters who acquiesce; Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew and Goneril and Regan in King Lear as daughters who cunningly play the good girl role; Portia in The Merchant of Venice, Viola in Twelfth Night and Rosalind in As You Like It as daughters who act in their fathers' places; and Marina in Pericles, Perdita in The Winter's Tale and Cordelia in Lear as daughters who forgive and heal.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In her debut, Hamilton (chair, English Dept., Buckingham Browne & Nichols Sch., Cambridge, MA) examines the varied range of father-daughter relationships in Shakespeare's dramas, arguing that the effects of dysfunctional relationships are mitigated in the comedies by the influence of happy chance. So while daughters in Shakespeare's tragedies cannot overcome the limits of an ineffectual or authoritarian father, those whose fathers serve as able mentors flourish in any situation. In six chapters, Hamilton examines the characters in two or three plays typifying a specific type of father-daughter relationship, such as fathers as inept or able mentors (The Tempest), daughters who acquiesce (Hamlet), or daughters who forgive and heal (King Lear). Although it may sound scholarly, this study is intended for the general public rather than academia. In fact, the author does not even cite other studies or scholarship. Students looking for a detailed, critical study of specific father-daughter relationships will need to look beyond this title; for those who need a solid introduction to the topic, this book makes for a good starting point. Recommended for public and academic libraries.-Shana C. Fair, Ohio Univ., Zanesville Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786415670
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/25/2003
  • Pages: 199
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Sharon Hamilton teaches electives in Shakespeare, English literature and cross-cultural literature at Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She lives in a suburb of Boston.

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Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 5
1 The Father as Inept or Able Mentor: Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest 13
2 Daughters Who Rebel: Hermia (A Midsummer Night's Dream), Jessica (The Merchant of Venice), and Desdemona (Othello) 35
3 Daughters Who Acquiesce: Hero (Much Ado About Nothing), Lavinia (Titus Andronicus), and Ophelia (Hamlet) 69
4 Plighted Cunning, Playing the Good Girl Role: The Taming of the Shrew and King Lear 93
5 Daughters Who Act in Their Fathers' Stead: Portia (The Merchant of Venice), Viola (Twelfth Night), and Rosalind (As You Like It) 125
6 Daughters Who Forgive and Heal: Marina (Pericles), Perdita (The Winter's Tale), and Cordelia (King Lear) 151
Conclusion 175
Index 181
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