Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 963. Wednesday, 22 Dec. 1993.
Date: Tuesday, 21 Dec 1993 13:52:31 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 4.0962 Re: Shakespearean Daughters
Comment: Re: SHK 4.0962 Re: Shakespearean Daughters
> >>I always assumed old Nedar was the father. Why not? It seems to me that
> unless a character refers to someone as a widow's daughter (like Diana in AWW)
> then the assumption is always that the parent is a male.<<
> Good point, but it's still -as you say- an assumption isn't it? And when a
> play is as concerned as MND is to probe the assumptions of a newly triumphant
> patriarchy (as opposd to those of a recently defeated matriarchy) is it as
> safe as you think it is?
Dear Terence Hawkes,
We seem to be trapping each other in assumptions. I would have said it is
always pretty safe to assume the patriarchy wins in a Shakespearean play,
even when the patriarchy is newly triumphant and the matriarchy is
recently defeated. All the women in the play are either silenced or
ignored by the last line. How does this suggest that Egeus or Theseus
would have referred to Helena's "mother" ?