Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
E. Semple
Dept.of English Research Seminar Series, UCC
Paper entitled: "Shakespeare’s Badass Moms on Screen: Prospera and Volumnia."
Invited Seminars/Guest Lectures
Optional Fields
This paper presents my current research examining 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.