Masters Thesis

“I Have Suffered With Those That I Saw Suffer”: Proximity, Trauma, and Shakespeare’s Tragic Women

There seems to be a general resistance to humanizing or analyzing the motivations and inner lives of these “evil” women. In my opinion, if Shakespeare wrote such a fully developed character in Cordelia, who only appears alive in four scenes of the play, surely he did not intend the major characters of Goneril and Regan, characters who drive so much of the action, to be viewed in such a shallow light. The scholarship generally points to the assumption that Goneril and Regan are, at the outset of the play (and presumably from birth), evil. I began to ask myself, how much are they also victims?

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