On the Importance of Female Bonding in Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well
GRIN Verlag, 2011 - 32 pages
Essay from the year 2009 in the subject English - Literature, Works, grade: 1,0, Free University of Berlin (Englische Philologie), course: Seminar "Shakespeare and Women," language: English, abstract: In the Renaissance, the ideal of same-sex friendship between men was highly valued (cf. Kaplan 312). William Shakespeare referred to this theme in many of his literary works. In particular, his sonnets dedicated to the "Fair Lord" have provoked debates about the writer's own sexuality. But the idea of "the other I" presented in the sonnets and included in most of Shakespeare's plays is not limited to male friendship alone. Shakespearean drama offers many instances of affection or at least solidarity between women as well. " J]ust as Shakespeare seems to pull free of the strictly classical dramatic forms, so too does he free himself of the purely neo-Platonic expression and uses of friendship" (Longo 8). Feminist criticism perceives the women in Shakespeare's plays, in particular in the comedies, as powerful and dominant (cf. Berggren 18). Often cross-dressing appears to be the strategy that allows them to break with the traditional female role comprising the in the Renaissance still prevailing "virtues of silence, obedience and chastity" (McFeely 8) . "By obscuring their own sex, the heroines gain extraordinary access to the men they love..." (Berggren 22). But besides male disguise, relationships among women give strength to each other. All in all, nineteen of Shakespeare's plays include intimate talks between women which take place in private and refer to very personal issues (cf. McKewin 119). In the following, I will analyse the relationships that exist among the women in Shakespeare's problem play All's Well That Ends Well. They can be considered particularly important, as due to the complete absence of cross-dressing in the play, they play an exceptional role in empowering the heroine. Helena "breaks out of both the cultural (historical) and psychic (transhistor
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akademische Texte All’s analyses Anja Hempel bed-trick Bedford Berggren blood bonding in Shakespeare's calls Bertram Cambridge Shakespeare Cambridge University Press Carolyn chastity Christy common experience Community GRIN comprising conspicuously absent Countess cross-dressing Cymbeline daughter’s declares desire Desmet Diana emotional emphasis added Empowered by Community Ends female bonding female characters Female Friendship female solidarity female unity Florence fourth act give strength GRIN Verlag Grise Helena finally hierarchical husband importance of female king Leggatt Lindsay Kaplan lovesickness male friendship male world Mariana marry Merchant Of Venice mother mother-daughter-relationship mutual affection Parolles particular plot recompense relationships Renaissance Rhetoric role Russell Fraser same-sex friendship scene selflessness Shakespeare's All's Shakespeare’s comedies Shakespeare’s Comic Heroines Shakespeare’s plays Shakespeare’s Problem Plays Shakespearean drama shows understanding social status son’s sonnets support Helena’s Taking into consideration threat Twelfth Night unknown 337 Updated Edition Viola Violenta virginity Widow Capilet wife William Shakespeare women in Shakespeare’s wooing