Desdemona and Penthea: The Legacy of Sophocles's Antigone and the Empowerment of the Female Victim in William Shakespeare's Othello and John Ford's The Broken Heart

Postgraduate Thesis uoadl:1710274 453 Read counter

Unit:
Κατεύθυνση Αγγλόφωνη Λογοτεχνία και Πολιτισμός
Library of the School of Philosophy
Deposit date:
2017-07-11
Year:
2017
Author:
Arapian Makroui
Supervisors info:
Ευτέρπη Μήτση: Αναπληρώτρια Καθηγήτρια, Τμήμα Αγγλικής Γλώσσας και Φιλολογιάς, ΕΚΠΑ
Βασιλική Μαρκίδου: Επίκουρη Καθηγήτρια, Τμήμα Αγγλικής Γλώσσας και Φιλολογιάς, ΕΚΠΑ
Original Title:
Desdemona and Penthea: The Legacy of Sophocles's Antigone and the Empowerment of the Female Victim in William Shakespeare's Othello and John Ford's The Broken Heart
Languages:
English
Translated title:
Desdemona and Penthea: The Legacy of Sophocles's Antigone and the Empowerment of the Female Victim in William Shakespeare's Othello and John Ford's The Broken Heart
Summary:
From ancient Greek to early modern English tragedies the torment and downfall of the male protagonist was always of great interest to the audience/readers. However, several female characters have been concealed behind the shadow of their male counterparts. As the fierce patriarchal system was intensely dominant both in ancient Greece and early modern England, women were submissive to the male members of their family such as their father or brother, and after their marriage their lives were under the control of the husband. Women who dared to speak up and raise their voice were considered unnatural, promiscuous and unable to conform to the social conventions of the era. Women were often victimized since they could not express their views freely and get family property even if they were the rightful heirs. In tragedies heroines meet their tragic downfall mostly because of being wronged by a man. The purpose of this dissertation is to empower and unmute Desdemona in William Shakespeare’s Othello (1603) and Penthea in John Ford’s The Broken Heart (1633) in correlation with the powerful figure of Antigone in Sophocles’s tragedy. Emphasis will be laid on the echo of Antigone in the two early modern plays and the way in which the Sophoclean heroine has been received in a different cultural and historical background. In the first chapter I discuss the politics of lamentation and the way in which the heroines express their grief. I will attempt to liberate them from their passive state and show that they regain their agency against patriarchy even though they meet their tragic end and they eventually lose their lives. The main point of the second chapter is the reversal of gender roles that takes place in the three plays. Last but not least, I will draw a parallel between the issue of food rejection and anorexia in the context of controlling the female body.
Main subject category:
Literature
Keywords:
Othello, Shakespeare, Ford, Desdemona, Penthea, Sophocles, Antigone, Broken, Heart, Pericles, Renaissance
Index:
No
Number of index pages:
0
Contains images:
No
Number of references:
71
Number of pages:
55
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