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shakespeare

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Father-Daughter Conflicts in Shakespeare 's Plays

William Shakespeare is a playwright and poet with no need of introduction . He has written several of the most distinguished and well-received plays in the history of literary writing . With so much reflection focused on his works and writings , little is said about Shakespeare 's personal life . It has been generally accepted however that Shakespeare himself had two daughters and one son . Shakespeare placed great value in the ability of his offspring

to immortalize his own name and to uphold the dignity of his family (Bevington 193 However , his hopes were not to be carried out through Hamnet , his only son . With Hamnet 's early death , Shakespeare was left to look to his daughters for the propagation of the respect due his family name (Bevington 193 . This close relationship with his daughters may have played a part in the establishment of many father-daughter conflicts in his plays

This will further inspect several plays written by Shakespeare with particular focus on the father-daughter relationships displayed in the texts to be studied . Five plays have been chosen for this study The Merchant of Venice , A Midsummer Night 's Dream , Romeo and Juliet King Lear , and Othello . The elements of the father-daughter relationship in each play will be discussed individually . By the end of this , it will have been shown that Shakespeare uses father-daughter conflict both as a plot device and as a means of reflecting views regarding father-daughter relationships . Where there is a conflict between father and daughter , the theme invariably revolves around the daughter 's pulling away from her father . Thus , it can be seen that through the daughter 's falling in love and the father 's choice of an ideal mate , there is a strain between father and daughter . The struggle to maintain authority over daughters causes fathers to hold indomitably to their decisions , leading daughters to resort to other means to accomplish their own desires

A Midsummer Night 's Dream

In A Midsummer Night 's Dream , Egeus demands that his daughter Hermia wed Demetrius when in truth it is Lysander whom she loves (Shakespeare 6 . This causes the rift between the father and the daughter . A dominant theme in the play is thus the father 's stubborn belief that his word is law over his daughter 's affairs . Because of Egeus ' mislead belief Hermia is forced to resort to her won measures in attaining the love she professes . Smith discusses that the conflict between the father and the daughter in this play serves to highlight the need for Hermia to establish her own character in to free herself of the dictates of the authorities in her life

It should also be noted that the play reflects the empowerment of women . Egeus gives no reason why Hermia should follow his wishes apart from the fact that he is her father and he is the primary male authority in her life...

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