Heroines of Shakespeare of his plays

Heroines of Shakespeare of his plays

Question: Discuss Shakespeare’s Heroines of his plays.


In Shakespeare’s (1564 – 1616) tragedies and his plays in general, there are several types of female characters. They influence other characters but are also underestimate. Women in Shakespearean plays have always had important roles, sometimes the leading role. Whether they are there to change the story or stabilize it, they are there for a reason. Sometimes they even surpass the male heroes. Some of his famous heroines are:

Rosalind (As You Like It)

Rosalind is one of Shakespeare’s most recognized heroines, admired for her intelligence, quick wit, and beauty. Rosalind is a vital character in ‘‘As You Like It’’, most commonly seen next to her cousin Celia. Rosalind is also a faithful friend and leader. She stays true to her family and friends throughout the entire story, no matter how dangerous the consequence. She dominates the stage. Her true decision-making skills can be seen in the last scene of Act 5 where she has to present herself as Rosalind to her father and to Orlando but at the same time change Phoebe’s opinion to marry Silvius. She is the main character of the play who extracts the clarity of important traits in other characters.

Portia (The Merchant of Venice)

Portia is one of the most prominent and appealing of the heroines of Shakespeare’s mature romantic comedies. She is beautiful, gracious, rich, intelligent, and quick-witted, with high standards for her potential romantic partners. She obeys her father’s will while steadfastly seeking to obtain Bassanio. She demonstrates tact to the Princes of Morocco and Aragon who unsuccessfully seek her hand. In the court scenes, Portia finds a technicality in the bond thereby outwitting Shylock and saving Antonio’s life when everyone else fails.

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Cordelia (King Lear)

In Shakespeare’s ‘‘King Lear’’, Cordelia’s father, Lear, exiles Cordelia as a response to her honesty when he asks for professions of love from his three daughters to determine how to divide the lands of his kingdom between them. But consequently, King becomes helpless and takes shelter to her. In this famous tragedy of Shakespeare, we see Cordelia as a perfect daughter and as a character like a protagonist.


Besides them, women characters of Shakespeare’s plays are Cleopatra in ‘‘Antony and Cleopatra’’, Desdemona in ‘‘Othello’’, Hippolyta in ‘‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’’ etc. Heroines are commonly very witty, beautiful and clever, and decorated with other good qualities. All his heroines draw our attention more than heroes. According to some critics, Shakespeare’s heroines are actually heroes of his plays.


From the light of the above discussion, we can say that Shakespeare’s heroines are the main characters of his plays. He actually tries to represent the actual condition of women in his time, the Elizabethan period. Queen Elizabeth’s success as a Queen inspires him to create such powerful women characters as Rosalind, Portia, and others.

Ruhul Huda
Ruhul Huda

You can call me Mr. Huda. I am a researcher and doing this work for years. I like to learn everywhere. So, feel free to share your experience with me.

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