Shakespeare’s Women: A Lecture with Carol Ann LloydVisit Website
Their names are familiar: Juliet, Lady Macbeth, Viola, Desdemona, and Ophelia. They are wives and mothers, daughters and sisters, cousins and friends, as well as servants, prostitutes, nuns, noblewomen, royals. Shakespeare’s plays would be meaningless without them.
While fewer than 20 percent of Shakespeare’s characters are women, and even those who have large parts speak far less than the men, women make every play more interesting and more important. Shakespeare’s female characters charm and amaze as they navigate the complicated and difficult world they inhabit. We laugh along with Beatrice as she wages a merry war with Benedick, marvel at Juliet’s determination to control her life, and admire the way Rosalind orchestrates happy endings all around. There are many times Shakespeare’s women succeed against all odds, finding their own ways to a happy ending.
This program will explore the scope of the female characters in Shakespeare’s plays, examining the way Shakespeare reinforced and challenged society’s norms and the way the female characters continue to shape our perception today.