William Shakespeare wrote at a time when women had little role in theater and drama. The complexity he gives to his female characters reveals a deep understanding of their psyche. We begin with an overview of life in Shakespeare’s England, the nature of theater in the 15th and 16th centuries, and Shakespeare’s literary contemporaries. We will explore how Shakespeare evolved in his characterization of women, beginning with the two-dimensional Tamora (Titus Andronicus) and ending with Rosalind (As You Like It), the one true protagonist of all Shakespeare’s plays. While the ability to read, understand, and enjoy Shakespeare’s plays is desirable, it’s more than enough to have a general knowledge of the plot lines.
GROUP LEADER: Philomena Feighan holds a BA in European Studies and a MFA in literature and creative writing. She is an award-winning short story writer in Ireland, the UK and the US. She has taught at Longbows Wood College (Ireland), Emerson College and The Boston Center for Adult Education. She lectures on American literature historical societies and currently teaches English literature at Leicester High School.
Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)Assumption University, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609