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.

College of Arts, Celtic Studies & Social Sciences

Coláiste na nEalaíon, an Léinn Cheiltigh agus na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta

College Office, Room G31 ,Ground Floor, Block B, O'Rahilly Building, UCC