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Modern Day Heroines

Female Characters in Comic Books, Literature, and Film

Shakespeare for Kids

A heroine is often an ordinary person in extraordinary circumstances, who, despite the odds being stacked against her, typically prevails in the end.  In 1851, during the Victorian era, Mary Cowden Clarke’s wrote the book, The Girlhood of Shakespeare’s Heroines, which explores the childhoods of Shakespeare’s female characters.


Click on Ophelia's Childhood to the right to read an excerpt from The Girlhood of Shakespeare’s Heroines. This moment is a scene between Ophelia, her brother Laertes and their father, Polonius. All three characters are from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.


Below are some heroines you might know from books, comics, and movies.

Alice: Alice in Wonderland
Ariel: The Little Mermaid
Belle: Beauty and the Beast
Cinderella: Cinderella
Jean Grey: X-Men
Mulan: Mulan  
Rogue: X-Men
Snow White: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Storm: X-Men
Sue Storm: Fantastic Four

Can you imagine what life was like when these characters were little? Choose one or two characters and write a short story based on what you think her childhood was like. Email it to us and we will select a few to showcase on our website at Puck’s Place.


Mary Cowden Clarke. The girlhood of Shakespeare's heroines: a series of fifteen tales. London, 1893.

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Ophelia's childhood

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