"Follow I must, I cannot go before" : women and power in Shakespeare's first tetralogy (1991)
AuthorsLowe, Veronica Siew Yokeshow all
This dissertation examines women and power in four Shakespearean plays, 1, 2, and 3 Henry VI and Richard III. Its main focus is on the aristocratic women, and particularly the two queens, Margaret of Anjou and Elizabeth Grey. Despite the patriarchal prescription of feminine subjection, these women are not without power both in interpersonal relationships and in the wider political and military sphere. But their power, though real and not an illusion, is linked inextricably to their relationships with the men in their lives. The first three chapters discuss female power in the context of various gender relationships; the marital in the first, the mother-son in the second and lastly, the father-daughter and those of allies and lovers. The final chapters look at the use of the principal "feminine weapons"; the tongue and sexuality.