Did you know that out of a total of 981 characters from Shakespeare’s plays, only around 150 characters are women? There is an ongoing debate concerning what truly qualifies a character as female, but this ratio of male to female characters is nevertheless astounding. Male characters amount to a staggering 84% of all Shakespearean roles, yet most plays would be defunct without their integral female characters.
Where would we be without sweet and innocent Juliet, bawdy Mistress Overdone, scheming Lady Macbeth, and disguised Viola? We would never witness Amanda Bynes convince Channing Tatum to shove tampons up his nose in a perfect scene from She’s the Man, a very modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. With these few, but memorable, female roles, we were also given the templates for many female character tropes, such as the love-struck woman, the innocent maiden, the strong-willed shrew, and the plotting, self-advancing woman. With that in mind, take our Shakespeare heroine quiz to discover where you would fit in as a woman in a Shakespearean play!
Featured Image: Johann heinrich fussli, lady macbeth” by Sailko. CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons