Sederi 29 — 2019
María José Mora
Elizabeth Mazzola, “Suffocated mothers, stabbed sisters, drowned daughters: when women choose death on Shakespeare’s stage.” SEDERI 29 (2019): 109–33.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.34136/sederi.2019.5 Download PDF
Women who choose death on Shakespeare’s stage often overturn ideas about tragedy as well as challenge the politics which establish which lives are worth sacrificing and which ones are not. Radically altering the relation between bios and zoe, female suicides collapse the divisions between things that grow, breathe, and love, and those things that block such living. In this essay, I draw on thinking about biopolitics along with feminist readings of Shakespeare in order to explore how characters like Goneril, Gertrude, and Juliet refuse the rules which determine how women’s blood must flow or be shed.
Keywords: bios and zoe; female suicides; Shakespeare; tragic heroines; Goneril, Gertrude, Juliet, Ophelia, Cleopatra; Antigone.
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