What’s important for a story to last long? You may think plot and action, but the most prominent and efficient thing in a story is character. We may forget the plot, setting and action of a story but we never forget the character. Shakespeare, the most important figure in English literature was not just capable of making great plays but of creating timeless characters. His characters like Romeo and Juliet is still stands as an epitome of love. But what we are going to look upon is Shakespeare’s women character. He showed women in a different perspective even in sixteenth century.
Portia from Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare designed her as a driving force for the action of play. To woo Portia, Bassanio went to Antonio for help, which made Antanio to get money from Shylock. But the real weightage of Portia’s character is revealed when she wins the case of Antonio and Shylock by arguing intelligently in the court. She is the example of Shakespearean witty women character.
Roselind from As You Like It, she is a courageous women who left the palace to find her love Orlando. She disguised herself and went to the forest. She even tests Orlando of his love towards her. She is an example of courageous Shakeapearean women character.
Desdimona from Othello is the meek women who died just because of her husbanb’s suspicious thoughts. She didn’t do any wrong, but accused of love affair and at last killed because of misunderstanding. She comes under the meek women characters of Shakespeare.
Goneril and Regan from King Lear are the evil and manipulating women. They are the reason for the downfall of King Lear and the death of their sister Cordelia. Cleopatra from Antony and Cleopatra also the awe-inspiring women who manipulates the great emperors like Julius Caesar and Antony and shattered the great Rome empire. One should not present the positive side alone but also the negative side, which might be the reason why Shakespeare created this manipulating and evil women characters.
To phrase it nice, we could name Shakespeare as the lowkey feminist. He created such women character to explain that women are capable of everthing, they are witty and intelligent and they are full of knowledge. What is your favourite women character of Shakespeare? Let me know in the comments.