AD's English Literature : General Understanding of Shakespeare's Women:Rosalind, Portia, Beatrice or Viola

Monday, December 23, 2013

General Understanding of Shakespeare's Women:Rosalind, Portia, Beatrice or Viola



There is Sanskrit adage to the effect that the character of women is unknown even to the gods, not to speak of mortal men. Read More about Drama   It is not so much to place the subject beyond the omniscience of the supreme god-head but to street the infinite complexities of feminist. The great creator, the one great god who created the gods as well as the female certainly knows all the intricacies of his created universe-and so does Shakespeare, the great manipulator of his puppet dramatic universe whether the living, throbbing dolls are male or female. Shakespeare, the marker, makes his women live according to the lights they receive from the magic lamp of their great creator.


The women in Shakespeare’s plays are vivid creations, each differing from the others. It is important to remember that in Shakespeare’s time boy actors played the female parts. Actresses did not appear in a Shakespeare play until after the restoration of Charles II to the English throne in 1660 and the introduction of French practices such as women actors.Read More about William Shakespeare  It says much about the talent of the boy actors of his own day that Shakespeare could create such a rich array of fascinating women characters. Shakespeare was fond of portraying aggressive, witty heroines, such as Kate of The Taming of the Shrew, Rosaline of Love’s Labour’s Lost, and Beatrice of Much Ado About Nothing. However, he was equally adept at creating gentle and innocent women, such as Ophelia in Hamlet, Desdemona in Othello, and Cordelia in King Lear. His female characters also include the treacherous Goneril and Regan in King Lear, the iron-willed Lady Macbeth, the witty and resourceful Portia in Merchant of Venice, the tender and loyal Juliet, and the alluring Cleopatra.

Characters of women appearing in Shakespeare’s plays from his earliest period show a marked difference from the approach of Marlowe, in some way his master and to whom women were no more than dreams or trophies. Critics have sometimes made too much of the individual differences particularly among his comic heroines. They seem, however, as remarkable for their differences as for their similarities whether they are Rosalind, Portia, Beatrice or Viola. The hesitant Silvia in the two gent of Verona is a prelude to shy Portia in the merchant of Venice. The scene in the former play where Julia catalogues her lovers suggests a faint sketch of the dialogue between Portia and Nerissa in the latter. Thomas pope ( the Shakespeare producer) who remarked that every single character in Shakespeare had its own individuality as in life itself so much so that it was possible to identify the speaker with his or her speeches even if the names of characters were not there. Despite the essential truth it contains, it papers to be an overstatement. Men are men and women are women. Read More about Drama  The latter cannot talk like the former. There is something general about Shakespeare’s women who were also drawn from life. Most of them are very practical and clear-sighted women, intolerant form their conclusions and they are no lovers of divorced form their conclusions and they are no lovers of decorative imagination. Lucite advises her mistress (Julia) not to “dream on infamy” (the two gentlemen) the long-winding steward in “All’s Well that Ends Well” is cut through at a blow by the countess, “what does this knave here?” quickness of apprehension is almost a common quality with Shakespeare’s women. In the final period Hermione, like voluminous, thinks it unbefitting “to prate and talk for life and honor.”  Imogene   answers’ the persecuting cloven by reminding him apologetically that a lady’s manners demanded lesser verbiage. Coriolanus addresses virile silence”. Rosalind, Portia, viola, despite sparkling wits and eloquence, are basically frank and simple creatures, not falling a prey to their own verbiage. Read More about William Shakespeare  

 In point of practicality, Shakespeare’s men do not stand any chance with his women. The men in Shakespeare’s are generally thinking and imaginative lot with their imagination sometimes having a distinct disabling effect on them.    Self-delusion in Shakespeare is more or less a masculine fealty and the whole debate is clearly summed up in the difference of attitudes between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The lady knows too well the so-called scruples and dilatoriness in action. Once she deep into the details and he suffers a hell till he acts in a frenzy to merge into ultimate oblivion. 
Shakespeare’s women are either good or dad and they generally do not raise any fundamental questions. the middle ground of complexity and intricacy is reserved for the male characters. The women are intuitive in nature acting on instinct. They are never eager to find a rationale of their actions. This only shows the depth and breadth of Shakespeare’s knowledge of women. Celia in as you like it is soft and tender and yet practical. She is very lightly drawn and yet when she cries out like a child in the forest at the sight of a blood-soaked handkerchief, a quality of innocence and simplicity is revealed in a few touches convincing us of the dramatist’s sure knowledge of the feminine heart. Read More about Drama  
 
Shakespeare is no theorist propounding general laws of drama and his women also are not just wit and courage. Their courage also fails and even a lady Macbeth dared not murder a Duncan because the king very much looked like her father. The child-like affections are not dead in the bosom of even that imperious lady. That Shakespeare is not always creating types is most abundantly shown in the creation of his Cleopatra. Shakespeare even departs from his source, Plutarch, to endow his Cleopatra with a peculiar individuality, all her own-after all she is Shakespeare’s “unparalleled lass”. 


Read More about William Shakespeare  There are some distant relations of hers in Shakespeare’s portrait gallery. There is Cressida, “weaker, lighter, and more wavering than the tragic queen.” There is a faint echo in doll timesheet (Henry IV) belonging to a low world and asking Jack Falstaff to be friendly with her before he goes never forgetful of the life of the individual he portrays. Shakespeare finally liberates himself from the tyranny of type when he creates his Ophelia, Desdemona and Cordelia.  His art works now wonderfully and with less verbiage. None of them are types and each of them is an offspring of the overpowering situation. Ophelia is a deserted maiden; Desdemona is a loyal wife; Cordelia is an affectionate daughter who ultimately protects her father.

Ardhendu De 

Ref: Timeline of Shakespeare criticism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1 comment:

  1. Sir,needs some notes of 7th paper of english of burdwan university.

    ReplyDelete

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