A Powerful Patriarchal Ideology: Women Challenge Dominant Fathers in Selected Shakespearean Plays


  • Jebamani Anthoney Asia-Pacific International University



Patriarchy, women characters, Shakespearean plays, dominant fathers, daughter


The Shakespearean text cannot avoid socially acceptable practices in its
presentation of women characters. However, the presentation of women was neither
a blatant exhibition of patriarchal ideology nor an uncritical celebration of its
collapse. Patriarchy takes different forms and is portrayed with varying degrees of
emphasis in Shakespeare. This study was based upon the exhaustive text analysis
and interpretation. This study examined the representation of women in selected
Shakespearean plays. The study’s aim was to show how some of Shakespearean
women characters challenged dominant fathers and, thereby, a powerful patriarchal
ideology. In this context, a daughter’s rebellion or her refusal to conform to her
father’s wishes had serious consequences. The characters Rosalind in As You Like
It, Jessica in Merchant of Venice, Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cordelia
in King Lear, Desdemona in Othello and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet played roles
ranging from innocent to devious to accommodate the needs of the text and
society. The main hypothesis of the study was that though Shakespeare plays
highlighted an irreversible search for free spaces for and by women, however
unsuccessfully fashioned or unjustly presented, which support a powerful
patriarchal ideology.

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How to Cite

Anthoney, J. (2018). A Powerful Patriarchal Ideology: Women Challenge Dominant Fathers in Selected Shakespearean Plays. Abstract Proceedings International Scholars Conference, 6(1), 249. https://doi.org/10.35974/isc.v6i1.1174