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Gender

Epilogues and Genders

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Rosalind in As You Like It, the arch-feminist of Shakespeare’s plays, is the only female character to deliver an epilogue. But for the final laugh, she steps out of character and, as the boy actor who played her, says, —If I were a woman, would kiss as many of you as had beards that pleased me–
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Seduction or Harassment?

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Shakespeare delights in the seduction ceremonies of bright men with even brighter women. These dialogues, whether between adolescents like Romeo and Juliet, more mature characters like Henry V and Princess Katherine, or seasoned adults like the widow Lady Grey and the sexual harasser King Edward, in this scene (3HenryVI 3.2.36), give Shakespeare opportunities to employ dazzling webworks of rhetorical exchanges.
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Kill Claudio!

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Beatrice
Kill Claudio!
Benedick
Ha! Not for the wide world.
Beatrice
You kill me to deny it. Farewell.
 She begins to exit.
Benedick
Tarry, sweet Beatrice.

O that I were a man for his sake! Or
that I had any friend would be a man for my sake!
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Source:
Act 4
Scene 1
Line 303

Source Type:

Spoken by:
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Themes:
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Figures of Speech:
, , , , ,

Connected Notes:
Appearance and Deception

Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound’s mouth

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Benedick
Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound’s mouth, it catchesSimili.
Margaret
And yours as blunt as the fencer’s foils, which hit, but hurt notSimili.
Benedick
A most manly wit, Margaret, it will not hurt a woman.
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Source:
Act 5
Scene 2

Source Type:

Spoken by:
,

Themes:
,

Figures of Speech: