Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother’s Day!

I’ll be off on a brunch cruise today, but I thought I’d check in to ask:  Who’s your favorite Shakespeare mom?  Much like Disney movies, the mom often gets the short end of the stick in a Shakespeare play (Lear and Tempest come immediately to mind…)  Lady Capulet?  Gertrude?  Tamora??

I’m trying to run through the list in my head and hate to miss a good one…

How about this?  How about making a list of mothers first?  Who’s got the complete list of Shakespeare moms, so we can pick from them?


blog nerd said...

ooo. ooo. don't forget Constance. The perfect grieving mother. The model upon which all grieving mothers since have been either consciously or unconsciously built.

catkins said...

Interesting assignment, Duane. Here is the list I came up with (the children are listed in parentheses):
Merry Wives- Mrs. Page (Ann)
All's Well- Countess of Roussillon (Bertram)
Winter's Tale- Hermione (Maximillus, Perdita)
Com. of Errors- Emilia (Antipholus twins)
King John- Elinor (King John); Constance (Arthur); Lady Falconbridge (Richard, Philip the Bastard)
Richard II- Duchess of York (Duke of Aumerle)
Henry V- Queen Isabel (Katherine)
3Henry VI- Queen Margaret (Edward Prince of Wales)
Richard III- Queen Elizabeth (Edward V, Richard Duke of York); Duchess of York (Edward IV, Clarence, Gloucester);[Margaret appears in this play again]
Macbeth- Lady MacDuff
Coriolanus- Volumnia (Coriolanus)
Anthony & Cleopatra- Cleopatra (Cesarion) [this is cheating since Cesarion does not appear in the play, but who could resist including Cleopatra in a list of potential favorite mothers?]
Cymbeline- the Queen (Cymbeline)
Pericles- Thaisa (Marina)
R&J- Lady Montague (Romeo); Lady Capulet (Juliet)
Hamlet- Gertrude (Hamlet)

Many plays are lacking moms, due in large part to the presence of a goodly number of widowers.

Good choice, Blog Nerd, I did not think there were many afficionado's of King John out there--one of my favorite Histories.

I think my favorite mom might be the Countess of Roussillon. Lots of heart.

Katja said...

My favourite mother is definitely Margaret in the York-Tetralogy. She is the one who fights for her son's rights when her husband gives the crown to the Yorks. Her role as mother allows her to act and to become the "she-wolf of France". And after her son's death, she comes back in Richard III and teaches the other no-more-mothers (Elizabeth and the Duchess) to curse, which from my (yes, slightly feminist) point of view, helps to defeat Richard.