The Guardian

Margot Robbie is rethinking Shakespeare’s women. It’s about time | Danuta Kean

From Ophelia to Desdemona, female characters obey tired stereotypes. This TV series will bring a new perspective
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 11: Helen Morton of the Three Bugs Fringe Theatre company performs Ophelia drowning during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival at the Apex Hotel swimming pool on August 11, 2009 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The play is inspired by Sir John Everett Millais' 1852 painting entitled 'Ophelia', depicting the character from Shakespeare's play 'Hamlet'. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

In the quest for gender equality on stage and screen, Shakespeare has not been an obvious starting point. Find a Shakespearean woman who is clever, strong and powerful and invariably she will end up mad (Ophelia in Hamlet), silenced (Silvia in The Two Gentlemen of Verona) or dead (Goneril and Regan in King Lear). Even when she is shown to have integrity, more often than not she is killed off by the final act (Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Desdemona in Othello).

So bad is on Twitter. In 2013 the Royal Shakespeare Company for roles that would not leave the heroine as secondary characters drowned in a pool of blood or water by the final act.

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