Fathers and Daughters in Shakespeare and Shaw

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001 - Drama - 201 pages
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How can the most silent member of the family carry the message of subversion against venerated institutions of state and society? Why would two playwrights, writing 300 years apart, employ the same dramatic methods for rebelling against the establishment, when these methods are virtually ignored by their contemporaries? This book considers these and similar questions. It examines the historical similarities of the eras in which Shakespeare and Shaw wrote and then explores types of father-daughter interactions, considering each in terms of the existing power structures of society.

These two dramatists draw on themes of incest, daughter sacrifice, role playing, education, and androgyny to create both active and passive daughters. The daughters literally represent a challenge to the patriarchy and metaphorically extend that challenge to such institutions as church and state. The volume argues that the father-daughter relationship was the ideal dramatic vehicle for Shakespeare and Shaw to advance their social and political agendas. By exploring larger issues through the father-daughter relationship, both playwrights were able to avoid the watchful eyes of censors and comment on such topics as the divine right of kings, filial bonds of obedience, and even regicide.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Best of Times The Worst of Times The Ages of Shakespeare and Shaw
15
Daughter as Passive Verb
49
Daughter as Active Verb
71
In Care of Thee
121
Never an Innocent Relationship
141
Bibliography
181
Index
193
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

LAGRETTA TALLENT LENKER is Director of the Division of Lifelong Learning, Director of the Graduate Certificates Program, Co-Director of the Florida Center for Writers, Co-Director of the Center for Applied Humanities, and Co-Editor of the Journal of Aging and Identity at the University of South Florida, where she is also Adjunct Professor of English. She has co-edited several books, including Aging and Identity: A Humanities Perspective (Praeger, 1999) and The Politics and Processes of Scholarship (Greenwood, 1995).