The Female Characters in Shakespeare’s Comedies
My ‘travail de candidature’ will be a detailed analysis of the main female characters from a selection of Shakespeare’s comedies. This analysis will consist of my personal interpretation of Shakespeare’s representation of women combined with the opinion of critics I consulted as secondary reading.
My thesis will be subdivided into the following parts:
- some general information about the Elizabethan women’s position in their society
- the difficult and apparently hopeless situations of the female protagonists at the beginning of the plays
- the women’s plans of action to break free from their restrictive positions (This chapter will concentrate on the women’s wit and intellectual potency, the importance of disguise as well as their friendships with other women.)
The main aim of my thesis consists in illustrating that Shakespeare’s female protagonists were not helpless victims but that they were powerful characters, which had several means to fight against the restrictions imposed on them by their patriarchal society.
Finally, the analysis of Shakespeare’s comedies should also illustrate the playwright’s attitude to women. Thus, this analysis should eventually indicate if Shakespeare depicted Elizabethan society and above all its women in a traditional way for the Early Modern period or if he rather succeeded in representing his female counterparts in an innovative and rather revolutionary manner, for an Elizabethan man