Shakespeare's Women

Meg Lota Brown
Wednesdays 2 PM - 4 PM (AZ Time)
September 21, 28, October 5, 12, and 19, 2022
Watch the video to learn more about this course

Shakespeare's Women

Fall 2022
In Session
2 PM - 4 PM (AZ Time)
September 21, 28, October 5, 12, and 19, 2022


Main Campus



Attend In Person OR Online

Many of Shakespeare’s most powerful, intelligent, and subversive characters are female. How were such vividly complex roles constructed in a culture that legally defined women as property, on the grounds of their intellectual and moral inferiority? Given the early modern imperatives of feminine silence, chastity, and obedience, how is it that women impel Shakespeare’s plots, orchestrate conflicts, and—in many instances—impose “resolutions”? This five-week course considers representations of women in three of Shakespeare’s comedies and two of his tragedies. We will address the social and historical contexts of women’s roles and how the playwright both generates and subverts his culture’s assumptions about gender. While examining the extraordinary vitality of Shakespeare’s female characters, we will ask: what is their relation to the state, the family, the church, political economy, and desire? In short, what is their relation to order and disorder?

Hybrid Course Format

  • All classes will be delivered in-person and online via live video streaming. Students will enroll in their preferred format during registration.
  • In-person classes will be held in the Rubel Room at the University of Arizona's Poetry Center (1508 E Helen St, Tucson, AZ 85721). Enrollment for in-person classes is limited by classroom capacity and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. All students attending on-campus will observe the relevant University of Arizona policies designed to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 (more information here). Students who enroll to participate in person will also have complete online access to the course, including all class recordings.   
  • Online students may attend all classes via live video streaming and will be able to participate in all course Q&A sessions with the professor in real-time. Students may also access class recordings for a limited time to assist those who may not be able to attend the live class times. Online access will be password protected and only available to enrolled students.

Registration Will Open Online:
Monday, August 29, 2022, at 8 AM (AZ Time)

Required Reading: 

  • Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
  • Shakespeare's As You Like It
  • Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice
  • Shakespeare's Othello

Course Registration

Meet Your Professor

Professor and Director of the UA Graduate Center
Department of English

MEG LOTA BROWN is Professor of English and Director of the UA Graduate Center. She is the author or editor of four books and has published numerous articles on Reformation politics, Renaissance literature, science, art, gender, theology, and authors from Shakespeare and Donne to Christine de Pizan and Rachel Speght. Dr. Brown has received nearly every major teaching award at the UA, as well as awards for her research, service, and leadership.    


Poetry Center
Dorothy Rubel Room
1508 E Helen
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States
Located on the SE corner of Helen Street and Vine Avenue, one block north of Speedway and three blocks west of Campbell Ave.

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