1 December - Shakespeare's Badass Moms on Screen: Prospera and Volumnia
Department of English, research seminar series
Edel Semple, University College Cork
1 December 2021, 3-4 pm Onlin,e, Microsoft teams: https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3awm5lwLLEXYJV16sFRgA7khFo8H42QWE7ISvhC2-qcqg1%40thread.tacv2/1631615817221?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%2246fe5ca5-866f-4e42-92e9-ed8786245545%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%229388a8d1-25e6-4ab4-ab6f-56373146031f%22%7d
This paper examines the portrayal and significance of aging mothers in the films The Tempest (Taymor, 2010) and Coriolanus (Fiennes, 2012). In a regendering of Shakespeare's famous magician, the first film stars Helen Mirren as the powerful sorceress Prospera, while the latter film presents Vanessa Redgrave as a patrician and army veteran in a Balkan city in turmoil. I argue that these materfamilias characters offer interventions in current debates on women in power, working mothers, and female aging. As both of these Shakespearean mothers is played by a senior doyenne of stage and screen, casting and celebrity will be explored in relation to the films’ interrogations of contemporary perceptions of maternity and female aging.