Lecture: Shakespeare’s Wonder Women

Event details

  • Wednesday | November 20, 2019
  • 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  • The Free Library of Philadelphia; Room 405; 1901 Vine St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Parkway Central Library)
  • 215-496-9722 ext 101

Shakespeare’s Wonder Women


Led by Jim Casey, Associate Professor of English at Arcadia University in Philadelphia

Date: Wednesday, November 20, 2019; 6pm-7pm
Location: The Free Library of Philadelphia; 1901 Vine St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Parkway Central Library); Room 405
Admission: Free with advance registration
Parking: Metered street parking, and nearby garages and lots

In his first letter from the New World in 1493, Christopher Columbus described the women of the island Matremonio as Amazons from classical myth. By Shakespeare’s time, these women-warriors had become regular characters in both fiction and non-fiction texts, and Queen Elizabeth was sometimes associated with the Amazon queen Penthesilea. In Shakespeare’s work, Amazons appear in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Two Noble Kinsmen (based on Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale and co-written with John Fletcher), but what qualities made a woman an Amazon? What do these warriors look like? How “Amazonian” are Shakespeare’s Amazons? By considering these two plays, we will examine what it means to be an Amazon in the plays of Shakespeare.

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