Analysis of Daughters Seeking Independence in Shakespeare’s Works – British Library



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“A number of Shakespeare’s plays show daughters negotiating the demands of their fathers, often trying to reconcile duty with a desire for independence. Kim Ballard considers five of Shakespeare’s most memorable literary daughters: Juliet, Desdemona, Portia, Katherina and Cordelia.

When we consider that Shakespeare lived in an age when all actors were male and the subject matter of serious drama focused heavily on the exploits of men, it’s hardly surprising that female characters are in a minority in his plays. And yet Shakespeare created many complex and engaging female roles for his young male actors to perform. Parent-child relationships feature heavily, and a significant number of these involve fathers and daughters. Interestingly, mothers are often absent from the drama, throwing the daughter/father relationship into sharp relief. A father of two daughters himself, Shakespeare’s dramatic daughters make a formidable line-up of young women, most of them at a transitional stage between the protection of their childhood home and an adult life beyond it. The transition is rarely a smooth one: in both comedies and tragedies, tension rises as daughters go in search of love, adventure and independence. “

MLA Citation:

Ballard, Kim. “Daughters in Shakespeare: dreams, duty and defiance.” British Library, n.d., Accessed (PUT DATE OF ACCESS HERE).

In-Text: (Ballard)

***REMEMBER all lines of the citation after the first get indented once***

APA Citation:

Ballard, K. (n.d.). Daughters in Shakespeare: dreams, duty and defiance. British Library. Retrieved from

In-Text: (Ballard)

***REMEMBER all lines of the citation after the first get indented once***

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