Motifs and Prophets, Women in History Plays

May 6th, 2015
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Women play very limited roles in the realm of Shakespeare’s history plays. They are almost always used as plot devices to represent an idea, to foreshadow something, or simply for the sake of making the play a bit more light-hearted. However, as limited female roles in history plays are, they are more likely that not strong-willed characters.

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Motifs and Prophets, Women in History PlaysMotifs and Prophets, Women in History PlaysWomen play very limited roles in the realm of Shakespeares history plays. They are almost always used as plot devices to represent an idea, to foreshadow something, or simply for the sake of making the play a bit more light-hearted. However, as limited female roles in history plays are, they are more likely that not strong-willed characters. These female characters contribute wisdom and perspective that make the audience really think about the substance and themes behind these history plays. The Countess of Salisbury first appears in Edward III as a hostage being rescued by the king himself. Despite being captured, she has the will to insult the Scottish invaders who besieged her castle. After rescuing the countess, the king becomes infatuated with her and demands that she become his mistress. S

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