A study of women in eight English domestic tragedies 1590-1642

O'Connor, Miriam (2015). A study of women in eight English domestic tragedies 1590-1642. University of Birmingham. M.Phil.


Download (1MB)


This thesis uses the social history of Early Modern England to provide the context for a discussion of tragedy in domestic drama; eight plays from \(circa\)1590 to 1642. The focus of the discussion is on one female character in each play and how they contribute to their own tragedy.
Alice Arden (\(Arden\) \(of\) \(Faversham\)) and Anne Frankford (\(A\) \(Woman\) \(Killed\) \(with\) \(Kindness\)) both commit adultery; Alice also plots her husband’s murder. Rachel Merry’s (\(Two\) \(Lamentable\) \(Tragedies\)) love of and loyalty to her brother leads her to conceal the murders committed by him.
Anne Drury (\(A\) \(Warning\) \(for\) \(Fair\) \(Women\)), in addition to her skills as a cunning woman, uses every piece of information that comes her way to her advantage. Elizabeth Sawyer (\(The\) \(Witch\) \(of\) \(Edmonton\)) is an intelligent and articulate woman. The treatment she receives at the hands of the villagers of Edmonton leads her to take on the role that they assign her, that of witch.
Clandestine marriage, plight troth and wardship bring tragedy to three women, the Wife, (\(A\) \(Yorkshire\) \(Tragedy\)), Clare Harcop (\(The\) \(Miseries\) \(of\) \(Enforced\) \(Marriage\)) and Anne Boote (\(The\) \(Vow-Breaker\)).
The genre of domestic tragedy often included a strong woman as one of the main characters. This is true of all of these women, despite their being a guilty party to their own tragedy.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Phil.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Phil.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, The Shakespeare Institute
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/5730


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year