Portia and other great Shakespearean womenI had the opportunity this month to read the part of Portia for a Sunday Shakespeare group here in Moscow.  It was loads of fun getting into her head for...

Portia and other great Shakespearean women

I had the opportunity this month to read the part of Portia for a Sunday Shakespeare group here in Moscow.  It was loads of fun getting into her head for the entire play, and I came out of it with a new respect for her feistiness.  I love the conversation between Portia and Nerissa at the beginning of the play where Portia is cleverly commenting on her many suitors and their ill-qualities!

What I'm wondering is if others out there would like to comment on their favorite Shakespeare ladies?  I'd love to hear from others who enjoy Shakespeare and the women he writes - Who is your favorite and what about them makes them your favorite?  Also, if you have a favorite passage or scene, share that, too!

Expert Answers
accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For me, Viola in Twelfth Night is a character who is both hilarious, sad and tragic in lots of ways. I love the fact that she appears to be more intelligent than other characters - just look at how she scuppers her first delivery of love from her master, Orsino, because she secretly loves him. She is also the only character that really seems to begin to understand the intelligence of Feste and his role in the play. She is also tragic in some ways as she is trapped in a stratagem that she can´t find her way out of - the irony of having to deliver love messages from your master with whom you are secretly in love with to the object of his affection who then falls in love with you!

linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Calpurnia in Julius Caesar is intriguing to me. Why did she marry, and stay married to, Julius Caesar? I gained a new insight into her inner character after reading the novel Memoirs of Cleopatra, by Margaret George. Do you realize that in the whole time they were married Calpurnia and Caesar never spent more than a few months together? Did she love him so much that a few days together were worth it? Or did she love his position and what it could bring her? How did she feel when he flaunted Cleopatra in her face? So many questions I loved to ask her.

mrerick eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Anyone who has studied Shakespeare has to enjoy Katharina from Taming of the Shrew.  This was a very bold move by Shakespeare to write a female character (at this time) who was so opinionated and wouldn't "fall into line".  Her verbal sparring with Petruchio throughout Act 4 is some of the best conversational writing in literature.

vikas1802 | Student

yeah portia is very important character in all the shakesperian plays becoz in this play portia express all the quality that should be in heroins like quick witted ,a loving and obeying character,beautiful women etc.

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The Merchant of Venice

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