Date of Award
My thesis explores representations of maternity and motherhood in four of Shakespeare’s plays in three chapters and two interludes. The first chapter will focus on Hermione from The Winter’s Tale; the first interlude will focus on Paulina from The Winter’s Tale and the Nurse from Romeo and Juliet; the second chapter will focus on Lady Capulet from Romeo and Juliet; the second interlude will focus on Juliet from Romeo and Juliet and Ophelia from Hamlet; and the last chapter will focus Gertrude of Hamlet. The coda will use Lady Macbeth from Macbeth to exemplify and also counter the themes laid down in the previous chapters. This project questions the origins of the well-known absent mother figure in the plays, many of them also monarchs themselves, examining cultural and political roots within Elizabethan England in the process. It will include––as well as be critical of––decades of scholarship, not only in the field of Shakespearean studies, but will also consider contemporary feminist and aesthetic studies as well.
Marcil, Coco, "Of Woman Born: Figuring the Maternal in Shakespearean Tragedy and Romance" (2020). Senior Theses. 1472.
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