Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Shakespeare's Women and the Fin de Siècle$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Sophie Duncan

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790846

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198790846.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 22 October 2018

Bad Women, Good Wives

Bad Women, Good Wives

Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth

(p.61) 2 Bad Women, Good Wives
Shakespeare's Women and the Fin de Siècle

Sophie Duncan

Oxford University Press

This chapter centres on Terry’s ‘divinely beautiful’ but controversial 1888 Lady Macbeth at the Lyceum theatre. Terry performed amidst hysteria over the Ripper killings and profound anxiety over the cognitive dissonance created by seeing a ‘good’ actress play a ‘bad’ woman. The results showed that a Shakespearean queen could interrogate the institution of marriage as fiercely as any fin-de-siècle problem play, with Terry’s underlying thesis stating that being a ‘good’ wife sometimes necessitated being a ‘bad’ woman. The chapter reassesses scholarly accounts of Terry’s ‘failure’ in the role via a thorough re-reading of fin-de-siècle periodicals’ anticipatory criticism and first-night reviews. It also examines the performance afterlives including Jess Dorynne’s The True Ophelia.

Keywords:   Ellen Terry, Lady Macbeth, 1888, Jack the Ripper, marriage, wives, periodical, theatre criticism, biography, reviews

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .