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The Role of Women in William Shakespeare's Roman Tragedies
Válková, Michaela ; Nováková, Soňa (advisor) ; Znojemská, Helena (referee)
THESIS ABSTRACT The thesis critically examines the historical and cultural circumstances of women in early modern England and the role of women in Shakespeare's Roman tragedies. In early modern England, men are said to have been participating in the public sphere of the political discourse and women were relegated to the domestic sphere; henceforth, the role of women in Shakespeare's Roman plays tends to be interpreted as supportive because of the plays' dominant political focus. To challenge the prevailing discourse, I consider female characters in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Coriolanus, Titus Andronicus and Antony and Cleopatra. My thesis argues that even though the Roman plays focus on the political, public sphere which tends to be the domain of men, women mostly actively participate, or express desire to actively participate, in the Roman plays' plots, philosophical contemplations, and political scheming. Cleopatra, Volumnia, Portia, Calpurnia, and Tamora are such characters. Only the less central female characters may embody the passive ideal of a woman confined in the domestic sphere, as exemplified by Lavinia, Virgilia, and Octavia. The findings show that women were recommended to stay in the domestic sphere, but many of them, especially upper-class ladies, participated actively in the political...
"New Future Selves:" Gender Fluidity in the Short Stories of Jackie Kay and Ali Smith
Stehlíková, Anežka ; Nováková, Soňa (advisor) ; Poncarová, Petra Johana (referee)
1 Abstract This master's thesis examines and juxtaposes the portrayal and construction of gender fluidity in the short stories of two contemporary Scottish writers, Jackie Kay and Ali Smith, positing that it operates as an argument against, and subversion of, culturally and socially specific norms and standards. To be able to elaborate on this argument and accurately assess the examined works, the second chapter of the thesis delineates the theoretical framework through the lens of which the subsequent analysis is carried out. First, the juncture of postmodern feminism and queer theory is used to outline the germane theory of gender. Namely, the ideas of Judith Butler and Mimi Marinucci are drawn on to define gender, its discursive production, performativity, and sociocultural contingence; to explain how and why it may be understood as fluid and what the thesis signifies by the term fluidity, and to underline the means of subversion and effecting change as understood by the two theorists. Subsequently, the chapter maps the intersection of Scottishness and the Scottish sociocultural sphere with gender to elucidate why Kay and Smith's depictions are considered subversive. This section of the thesis summarises the contemporary political agenda regarding gender in Scotland, highlights the traditionally...
The transforming power of places: the impact of the spatial setting on characters in Graham Greene's novel The Heart of the Matter
Shánělová, Jindra ; Beran, Zdeněk (advisor) ; Nováková, Soňa (referee)
The English novelist Graham Greene kept a journal for most of his life, except when it might threaten his safety.1 There he captured both mundane as well as extraordinary or otherwise noteworthy moments as a reminder in case he may one day run out of ideas for his fiction. As it happened, however, during his wartime service in African Sierra Leone, the danger of keeping any personal records could have posed too great a threat to himself and his professional interests that, as he came to regret some years later, he had to rely on his memory in order to put together scattered shreds of memories of this particular time of his life which became the main source for one of his masterpieces, the 1948 novel The Heart of the Matter. In it he captures the paradoxical situation of Europeans who for professional reasons inhabit these distant and alien corners of the Earth. There he places the protagonist, Major Scobie, and others in order to construe a drama of as common life as we know it, only spiced up by the African setting as a dislocating element, a background for the kaleidoscope of human problems that are correspondingly tinted by the tropical heat. It is the purpose of this paper to show the workings of the spatial setting as an inseparable part of the novel as well as its inevitable impact on the characters....
Early Modern Players of Folly
Pranič, Martina ; Procházka, Martin (advisor) ; Pfister, Manfred (referee) ; Nováková, Soňa (referee)
Early Modern Players of Folly Thesis Abstract This thesis examines the ways in which folly is used in early modern literature. It asks: how is it that such an ephemeral concept proliferated and endured in the culture of early modern Europe? My understanding of early modern folly as a discursive phenomenon that was used as a way of questioning the knowledge of the ostensibly reasonable world is illustrated by case studies of four characters-four players of folly. Dedicated a chapter each, they are Till Eulenspiegel, the great German jester; Pomet Trpeza, a typically Ragusan wit of Marin Držić's Dundo Maroje; Brother Jan Paleček, a Bohemian representative of holy folly; and Sir John Falstaff, the embodiment of folly in Shakespeare's 1 and 2 Henry IV. Although they emerge from different cultural, linguistic and generic traditions, they nonetheless share a propensity for employing folly in ways that uncover possibilities for new understandings and challenge rigid certainties of the world around them. Early modernity, the era that produced the works I explore, has become associated with shifts and instabilities. In this Age of Discovery, man was compelled to understand afresh a suddenly unfamiliar world. However, where man and his reason reign, folly gladly follows. I read each of my four players of folly as...
Identity and Displacement in Contemporary Postcolonial Fiction
Olehlová, Markéta ; Nováková, Soňa (advisor) ; Franková, Milada (referee) ; Kolinská, Klára (referee)
English summary The main objective of this thesis is to present some key issues relevant for postcolonial field of study with respect to two basic areas of interest: concepts of identity and place, respectively displacement in contemporary postcolonial discourse and their reflection in fiction, too. The thesis should provide the potential reader with basic theoretical background based on the most fundamental sources and by means of selected literary works it should support (or disclaim, if necessary) conclusions reached by the most notable theories. This dissertation work consists of three major parts. In the introduction, apart from providing the motivational, theoretical and literary objectives of the thesis, I cover some basic difficulties that may occur when dealing with the postcolonial field of study. The central part of the thesis can be divided into two parts, each of them consisting of two further sections. The first one, "Identity in Postcolonial Discourse", is focused on one of the key terms in all of postcolonial theory: identity and other concepts related with it. I cover the basic development of theoretical reflection concerning this concept, drawing primarily from secondary sources dealing with it. The theoretical part on identity is succeeded by a chapter "Reflections of Identity in the...
Women in the English Drama of the Orient
Němcová, Nikol ; Nováková, Soňa (advisor) ; Kolinská, Klára (referee)
The subject of this BA thesis are plays set in the Orient, a new genre that started to gain popularity in the Restoration period. These plays, commonly inspired by the popular travelogues to the Orient and historical accounts, are characterised by their collection of stock characters, repeating topoi and orientalised images that represent the Orient more as a conception created by the West than an actual place. Nevertheless, in analysis of some of the plays I shall argue that these works also offer possible commentaries on the British society of the time and that they can be used as arguments criticizing or reinforcing the contemporary perception of women by dealing with such otherwise rather inaccessible themes as women stepping out of their social boundaries, femininity or female sexuality. In order to advocate my thesis I plan to use four different tragedies with Middle-Eastern settings, specifically Rhodes, Morocco, Turkey and Colchis (located mostly in present-day Georgia and Turkey). All these plays were written between 1663 and 1696 and might be considered some of the most representative examples of the genre. They include William Davenant's The Siege of Rhodes (1663), Elkanah Settle's The Empress of Morocco (1673), Mary Pix's Ibrahim, the Thirteenth Emperour of the Turks (1696) and...
Political Rhetoric in Shakespeare's Drama
Malá, Anna ; Znojemská, Helena (advisor) ; Nováková, Soňa (referee)
Political Rhetoric in Shakespeare's Drama Bc. Anna Malá MA Thesis Abstract This thesis focuses on political rhetoric in William Shakespeare's plays. It approaches History plays, Roman plays, and Tragedies in order to compare whether the rhetoric used differs among the genre in connection to the state system which it presents - Republic or Monarchy, with the intention to describe the difference. The main criteria for this description are the imagery and rhetorical strategies used in specific situation both by the ruler and by some of the subjects concerning the ruler.
Gender-sensitive Literary Analysis of Richard Yates's novel The Revolutionary Road
Gondeková, Miroslava ; Jiroutová Kynčlová, Tereza (advisor) ; Nováková, Soňa (referee)
In the thesis "Gender Literary Analysis of the novel Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates" a qualitative interpretative analysis with aspects of discourse analysis is used to interpret the plot and characters from a gender perspective. These interpretations are based on the "resistant reading" method introduced by Judith Fetterley. The literary analysis concepts introduced by Pam Morris and Elaine Showalter are also used as a point of reference. The aim for the application of Gender as a methodological category is to reveal and find new potential meanings and interpretations of the whole story and its characters with respect to their gender identity. The key areas that are focused on are motherhood, emancipation.
Caryl Churchill and British women's drama from the 1950s to the 1980s
Karasová, Kateřina ; Nováková, Soňa (advisor) ; Jungmannová, Lenka (referee)
České divadlo je plné dluhů vůči cizí dramatice a Caryl Churchillová patří k dluhům nejvíc bijícím do očí, tím spíše, že její jméno je stále nepříliš známé. Ačkoli autorka píše pro divadlo od počátku 70. let minulého století a od konce tohoto desetiletí patří k nejuznávanějším britským dramatikům (nejen dramatičkám!), v českém divadle se objevila až v roce 2004 inscenacemi her Top Girls (Prvotřídní ženy; první překlad dokonce vyšel již na počátku 80. let) v pražském Národním divadle a Number (Řada) v Divadle Na Vinohradech. V poslední době byly v rámci scénických čtení v Divadle Na Zábradlí uvedeny ještě Cloud Nine (Lehká pohoda) a Far Away (Daleko odsud). Kromě těchto her byly přeloženy pouze Objections to Sex and Violence (Připomínky k sexu a násilí) a Blue Heart (Bláhové srdceY Jako hlavní příčiny nezájmu se jeví autorčino zaměření na feministická a socialistická témata, 1 která mají, jedno z více, druhé z meně pochopitelných důvodů, u nás odstrašující zvuk. Je určitě zajímavé a podnětné, že malá část z tvorby Churchillové viděná v našich divadlech nebo dostupná v češtině zahrnuje jak starší texty, tak i ty z nedávné doby, takže se dají srovnávat její unikátní a stále se proměňující dramatické techniky, jež přicházejí s každou novou hrou a jež mají výjimečné jevištní kvality a snadno "komunikují" s...
Madness of Love, Love and Madness: A survey of the Works of Rose Tremain in the 1980s and 1990s
Koucká, Anna ; Nováková, Soňa (advisor) ; Clark, Colin Steele (referee)
Rose Tremain, a contemporary British author born in 1943, belongs among the most talented writers of her generation. Nonetheless, her works are not as successful as she would deserve. The two historical novels that she has written, Restoration and Music and Silence, have brought her a remarkable popularity. As for her other works, however, she has not been given adequate attention. The aim of this thesis is to introduce the reader to some of her novels and characterize her work. A major theme in her prose is the madness of love that she examines basically in all her texts. For the purpose of this thesis, four novels have been chosen as representative of her work: The Swimming Pool Season, Restoration, Sacred Country and Music and Silence. In the search for the meaning of life, Tremain's characters often concentrate on romantic love as the only reason for living. Tremain emphasizes the foolishness of this, showing that romantic relationship itself can never fulfil one's life. The happiness in a fruitful relationship is possible, but one always has to start with one's own personal development in order to achieve it. Tremain points out that we cannot look for self-realization in romantic relationships; otherwise, our sense of inferiority and insufficiency will probably have a catastrophic effect on...

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