The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1498 Thursday 26 August 1999.
From: Kate Brookfield <
Date: Wednesday, 25 Aug 1999 01:35:39 -0400
Subject: 10.1478 Re: Twelfth Night
Comment: Re: SHK 10.1478 Re: Twelfth Night
From: Abigail Quart
>I must say, declarations of what? Ironclad future coupledom? Seem to
>have a very silencing effect on Shakespeare's heroines. Any other silent
>new fiancees besides Viola and Isabella (in Measure)?
Marina in Pericles doesn't even get asked her opinion on her engagement
to Lysimachus. Her last words in the play are about her joy in
discovering her long lost mother. "My heart\ Leaps to be gone into my
mother's bosom". After all the trials, travelling, and separations in
that play it has always struck me as odd that Pericles is quick to send
his long lost daughter away again to live in far away Tyrus.
Perdita is not exactly a silent new fiancée in Winter's Tale, but she
little to say about or to her fiancé after order is restored and the
royal family reunited.
Even Imogen, (deserted wife, not fiancée) is silenced in the ending of
Cymbeline. We presume she remains clinging to Posthumus during all the
revelations in the last scene. Does he deserve her? We have to forgive
him, but it is not easy.
Miranda's final scene with her fiancé shows the happy couple playing
chess together. Her final exclamation of joy with "the brave new world"
and all the beautiful people she is meeting is one of the most positive
declarations of hope in the future by a new fiancée.
These last plays are classed as "Romances", but the main theme is not
romance as we know it today. All these plays use young love and lost
mothers as a means to restore the idea of order in the universe. When
the king is restored as father of the nation, the wives and daughters
take their place beside the king, not below him. In other words, future
happiness for all depends on family unity, national unity, and equality
between men and women! We must presume that when order is restored all
marriages will be bliss so the new fiancées have no worries and nothing
to talk about. :-))