The Excellence Of Women In Shakespearean Tragedy

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Excellence, from the root excellent, is the achievement of something extremely good in life. These achievements can be of a literary nature, or a cosmic nature, however the excellence that pertains to the coming essay, is that which is found within the female characters of Shakespearean tragedies. Despite the patriarchal ways of life during Shakespeare's age, he constantly conveys the ladies of his plays with nothing short of "excellent ... beauty, wit, and virtue." [Doran 135] Doran's article "The Idea of Excellence In Shakespeare" is a detailed work, which engages itself in the wide scope of Shakespearean sonnets and all his theatrical work concerning excellence. Doran says very frankly that due to Shakespeare?s representation of women, through his plays, it is very clear that he prides himself with excellence in general. Although Doran brings to our attention the importance, and possible disaster, of over emphasizing glorious attributes, the act of which is known as a hyperbole [134], Shakespearean females, even when denied fancy dialect and metaphors, still are able to expose their virtues of loyalty, honestly, love, and patience in most everything they do. Doran begins his detailed account of specific females with none other than Cordelia, but due to further argument I will pass over his analysis of Lear?s daughter and continue with his depiction of Desdemona. Doran introduces Desdemona by stating, ?[her] virtues are ? independence, honesty, loyalty, and great generosity.? [147] Within a standard reading of Othello these characteristic are by no means shadowed, they are vividly portrayed in most, if not all, of her actions. Her independence is conveyed by her decision to marry Othello without the good grace of her ... ... middle of paper ... ...ults are that of a divine member, a goddess. To conclude Shakespeare presents all his ladies as self-righteous, independent, loving women who deserve to be noticed. Each woman holds her own sense of excellence with regards to her virtues. In particular, Desdemona and Cordelia, especially rise up to the occasion. Both of these women know who they are, how they got to be who they are, what they want, and how to get what they want, nothing, I repeat nothing, explains the excellence of a women better than that. Work Cited Doran, Madeleine. ?The Idea of Excellence In Shakespeare.? Shakespeare Quarterly 27.2 (1976): 133-149. Greenfield, Thomas A. ?Excellent Things In Women: The Emergence Of Cordelia.? South Alantic Bulletin 24.1 (1977): 44-52. Harding, D.W. ?Women?s Fantasy of Manhood: A Shakespearean Theme.? Shakespeare Quarterly 20.3 (1969): 245-253.
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