The relationship between fathers and daughters in Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and The Tempest
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The aim of the proposed thesis will be to examine the complex and provocative relationship between fathers and daughters in Shakespeare’s plays The Tempest, King Lear, Hamlet and Othello. The plays take up the stories at the point at which the daughter is moving away of the sphere of her father`s control and influence and sets out on her own. The typical pattern of the father-daughter bond is: a middle –aged to old man, usually a widower, has and adolescent daughter just entering the young womanhood. This study will investigate this difficult and challenging process with its psychological conflicts, it will examine how fathers and daughters challenge the traditional family model in concord or in conflict with the ruling philosophy at the time. The study will examine how fathers and daughters undergo this difficult process and their individual drama from a psychoanalytic perspective. It will use psychoanalytic criticism. The literary works that will be the focus of this thesis are Shakespeare’s plays The Tempest, King Lear, Hamlet and Othello. I have chosen to examine four daughter- father pairs in these plays (Miranda - Prospero, King Lear - Cordelia, Desdemona – Brabantio, Ophelia – Polonius). Chapter two offers an overview of the society, family and marriage in Shakespeare`s time, and of the theoretical background for this thesis. I will do my study by looking at fathers and daughters in Shakespeare`s plays from a psychoanalytical perspective. The father-daughter bond deals with psychological conflicts and tensions, and the premises and the procedures of the psychoanalysis will help us to explore the human mind and heart of our characters. The main part consists of three chapters that examine how this relationship is portrayed in four plays. The selected texts for this thesis provide different representations and pictures of the father-daughter bond. I am looking to this relationship from two perspectives: relationships that conform to the traditional parental model, and relationships that challenge the traditional parental model. As a conclusion, the study maintains that Hamlet and Othello conform to tradition, and the relationships between King Lear and Cordelia, Miranda and Prospero challenge the traditional model.
Master's thesis in Literacy studies