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Unruly Women
Shakespeare's Heroines

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Lady Macbeth


Lady Macbeth, one of Shakespeare's most "unruly" women, was difficult for the proper Victorian age to assimilate. Generally, they took one of two stances towards her, either placing her in the distant past of the "barbarous" Middle Ages, or seeing her as a Victorian wife, whose ambitions were all for her husband but who was discarded by him after his success, fell into madness, and suffered a lonely death. This picture by the popular artist Kenny Meadows shows Lady Macbeth with the rosebud mouth and fine features of a Victorian young lady, only the frowning brows and clenched dagger indicating her firm purpose.

Kenny Meadows. Lady Macbeth. Engraving, 1850

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