The caring, the over-bearing and the morally insane: Shakespeare’s father figures and their relationship with their daughters

Minter, Vivien (2016) The caring, the over-bearing and the morally insane: Shakespeare’s father figures and their relationship with their daughters. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    In this dissertation entitled “The caring, the over-bearing and the morally insane; Shakespeare’s father figures and their relationship with their daughters”, I have utilised Shakespeare’s Pericles, The Tempest, Hamlet, and The Merchant of Venice to closely examine the nature of the father-daughter bonds that these texts exhibit. I believe fathers and daughters have received, for the most part, less critical attention than the interactions between fathers and sons. So my main aim in this dissertation is to initiate more interest in these intriguing relationships, not simply in these four plays but for all of Shakespeare’s works in which fathers and daughters are present. As a way of narrowing my scope of analysis, I have explored the fathers and daughters under the themes of bonds, marriage motivations and tests and tricks. This has allowed me to effectively reach my conclusion that all fathers abusively assert control over their daughters but, most importantly, they do not appear to do so to the same extent. Some of the fathers appear to do so unwittingly and often with the best intentions for their daughters as their performances are dominated by their concern for their child’s current and future well-being. Other fathers view their daughters as solely their possession to use as they see fit and in Pericles, this includes the daughters becoming sexual objects. Fathers often appear to be unconcerned by society’s ethics and consequently appear as immoral tyrants. Whilst my argument has been formed by applying modern values to their interactions, I still consider the historical context to provide reasons behind each father’s behaviour and to highlight the extent to which societal standards and expectations have developed.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
    Depositing User: Beth Atkins
    Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2016 08:44
    Last Modified: 01 Sep 2016 08:44
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/21647

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