|About the Book|
This booklet is about the women characters in Shakespeare’s plays, and how he portrays them. He does what no other writer has done – or could do. He presents women as the one force in society capable of saving mankind from itself: the essentialMoreThis booklet is about the women characters in Shakespeare’s plays, and how he portrays them. He does what no other writer has done – or could do. He presents women as the one force in society capable of saving mankind from itself: the essential earth-mother, the nurturing force behind everything born, and the solver of problems. He shows that women can be the main force in society for civilising men, for curbing their instincts to fight and kill, and to replace those violent impulses with the gentler arts of tolerance, love and forgiveness.The Elizabethan age, despite the fact that a woman is on the throne, is a supremely masculine age, and the drama reflects this. Scenes of military power and conquest proliferate, where the women are completely subservient to the controlling males.Yet, when Shakespeare starts to write, from the first play onwards, he gives women a power in his plays that no other writer of this period can even understand, let alone dream of doing. As he matures, women demonstrate an ever increasing power.His position is not only that women are the equal of men, which would be a revolutionary belief in that age, as in most other periods before the twentieth century. But he shows that they are superior to men in certain definite aspects. A more challenging notion could not be imagined then – or even now. He demonstrates this superiority in most of his plays.