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Women in Shakespeare

Alison Findlay

DOI: 10.5040/9781623560928

ISBN: 9781472520470

This is a comprehensive reference guide examining the language employed by Shakespeare to represent women in the full range of his poetry and plays. Including over 350 entries, Alison Findlay shows the role of women within Shakespearean drama, their representations on the Shakespearean stage, and their place in Shakespeare's personal and professional lives.

'This encyclopaedic and critically sophisticated survey of women and womanhood in Shakespeare offers a uniquely invaluable resource for students and scholars alike.

One of the strengths of Findlay's lexicon is that it includes gendered role types and their attributes... The result is a richly studded picture both of individual women and of societal and linguistic mores.

The impressive range and intricate detail make Women in Shakespeare: A Dictionary immensely valuable to both seasoned Shakespeareans and students alike; the dictionary format enables quick reference while still retaining critical integrity.

This is a rich and inventive book, offering much more than the dictionary function suggested by its title. It is astonishingly thorough and some of its entries… are in effect mini essays… an impressive achievement and a very rewarding read.' Shakespeare Quarterly

'Alison Findlay's treatment of Shakespeare's female characters offers much to digest, largely because of her brilliant decision to treat these figures not only under the named part … but also through extensive cross-references to titles of rank, occupation, social status … names for prostitutes, female anatomy … female icons … female experiences … 'pivotal moments that shaped or changed women's subject positions' … female apparel, and the 'material representation of women' on Shakespeare's stage … As they consult Findlay, students, scholars, and actors will find a rich layering in their efforts to 'reconstruct' the identities of Shakespeare's female parts from an array of 'fragments,' the end result being characters who come alive on both page and stage … the Arden Dictionaries have made an enormous contribution. While each volume impresses the reader with Shakespeare's grasp of a particular topic-wide, deep, and, as experts in various fields have noted, accurate-it is impossible to view all of the dictionaries together and not come away with renewed awe at his commodious erudition. Shakespeare Quarterly

Women in Shakespeare: A Dictionary inventively surveys not only the proper names of female characters but also many sorts of female and feminized ideas and associations in the corpus. The entry on 'woman' demonstrates how much is to be learned from such an approach to a reference book.' Recent Studies in Tudor and Stuart Drama