Chapter 7: Much ado about me too: the personal and political activism of Shakespeares women
Restricted access

This chapter shows how the struggles and triumphs of Shakespeare’s women resonate with the important work happening in the current #MeToo movement. Shakespeare’s plays often highlight women’s vulnerable positions and, in particular, their sexual vulnerability. I focus on the culture surrounding rape and sexual assault in early modern England and the Shakespearean women who attempt to take their sexualities and reputations into their own hands. In examining the women in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, I show that their personal actions and words are acts of resistance against a culture of sexual repression and violence. Beatrice particularly works on behalf of her cousin Hero to combat the consequences of sexual slander. While neither of these women are survivors of sexual assault, experiences that are at the center of the current #MeToo movement, they participate in the fierce fight for the social and sexual rights of women.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Other access options

Redeem Token

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institutional Access

Personal login

Log in with your Elgar Online account

Login with your Elgar account