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"That we women had men's privilege of speaking first": Shakespeare's ambivalent view of women in Troilus and Cressida.

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dc.contributor.author Biondo, Valeria.
dc.date.accessioned 2012-06-27T16:01:19Z
dc.date.available 2012-06-27T16:01:19Z
dc.date.created 1995 en_US
dc.date.issued 2012-06-27
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/1584
dc.description 65 leaves en_US
dc.description.abstract This study examines Shakespeare's ambivalent treatment of the female Characters, particularly Cressida, in his play Troilus and Cressida, within the context of Renaissance questions about the nature of women. The English Renaissance was marked by a number of significant social, political, and religious events which helped shape new ideas about the position of women in society; inevitably, these changing ideas became a source of tension for the patriarchal structure that characterized English society. The ensuing anxiety culminated with the proliferation of works by male writers which emphasized the conventional ideal images of women as chaste, silent, and obedient. Engaged in re-telling the story of Cressida, a female character traditionally viewed as a symbol of female frailty, Shakespeare seems somewhat sympathetic toward women. In this play he reviews the whole myth involving the war between the Trojans and the Greeks and, in the process, exposes the mechanisms of male power that oppress Cressida and force her to act as she does. By imbuing Cressida with a strong voice and an attitude of resistance to the powers that subject her, Shakespeare seems at first to challenge the assumptions that women are naturally Chaste, Silent, and obedient and seems to validate the period's apparent move toward new prospects for women. Ultimately, however, Shakespeare betrays the same anxieties about women's potential shift of roles revealed by many of his male peers. After all the political changes he seems to propose in Troilus and Cressida, the playwright finally writes Cressida as a character who internalizes and affirms the traditional views of women held by the patriarchal culture in which he lived. This shift to the more traditional view of women reveals Shakespeare's own ambivalence about women's potential for independence and his own paternalistic need to keep women silent and out of the public sphere. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616-Characters-Women. en_US
dc.subject Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616, Troilus and Cressida. en_US
dc.subject Feminist literary criticism. en_US
dc.subject Women in literature. en_US
dc.title "That we women had men's privilege of speaking first": Shakespeare's ambivalent view of women in Troilus and Cressida. en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.college las en_US
dc.advisor Gail Cohee en_US
dc.department english, modern languages and literatures en_US

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