Date of Award

5-15-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

Abstract

The way in which femininity is represented in literature often reinforces the idea of the objectified woman and the dominant man. William Shakespeare, influenced by the writings of Ovid, attempts to challenge these social constructs by developing alternative feminine voices in his works. Lavinia from Titus Andronicus, Lucrece from The Rape of Lucrece, and Imogen from Cymbeline serve as examples of women who must utilize a voice outside what is characteristically feminine in order to gain power from the "unspeakable" events such as rape and mutilation that alter each woman's perception of self. These women also prove how the eyes of a voyeur can manipulate and misinterpret the voice a woman communicates.

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