Reviving Shakespeare's Women: Adaptations of Shakespearean Heroines in Young Adult Fiction

Johnson, Corinne, English - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Kinney, Clare, AS-English-Eng Lit Ops, University of Virginia

The purpose of my thesis is to explore the ways in which the actions and interiority of two of William Shakespeare’s heroines (Ophelia from Hamlet and Miranda from The Tempest) are expanded upon and reinvented through the genre of young adult (hereafter denoted YA) fiction. The specific YA novels explored in this work are Lisa Klein’s Ophelia (2006) and Katharine Duckett’s Miranda in Milan (2019). After a brief introduction which lays the groundwork for the YA-Shakespeare connection, each of the two central body chapters centers on one of the two characters stated above and the YA novel in which she appears. Both chapters begin with a brief overview of the character’s role in her respective play text and some of the criticism surrounding her. I then move into an analysis of each character’s position in their respective novels, with particular focus on the ways in which greater degrees of agency and interiority are generated and gynocentric communities are formed. Observations on the formation of gynocentric communities will also include commentary on the reclamation of motherhood in Klein and Duckett’s novels.

MA (Master of Arts)
Shakespeare, Motherhood, Feminism
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