AuthorBendele, Robert Calvin
AdvisorBrown, Meg Lota
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractA pervasive sense of alienation infected the lives of women in the Early Modern period. William Shakespeare’s Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and As You Like It subtly highlight the expectations for women in contemporary English society, and acknowledge those expectations’ tendency to degrade an individual’s desires, power, and autonomy; the three plays also interpret alienation as accompanying a variety of additional topics, including race, platonic relationships, and aging. Shakespeare indicates violence as a hegemony’s common response to violations of the social order—a connection that he even includes in his comedies, which contain dark undertones of physical assault, coercion and repression. The purpose of this thesis is to identify those within these plays who (both individuals and groups) become alienated in response to the dominant social expectations of the Early Modern period, as well as how their alienation manifests itself. Due to the significant relevance of contemporary culture and politics in examining Shakespeare’s plays, I will utilize multiple primary and secondary sources to yield a portrait of the world that inspired his characters, settings, and messages.