By William Shakespeare
Helena schemes with Diana to meet Bertram’s conditions and win his love, yet as Bertram’s infidelity and Helena’s deceits are printed, the viewers is left to wonder whether, in love, the top justifies the capacity.
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Extra resources for All's Well That Ends Well: A Comedy (HarperPerennial Classics)
Nineteenth-century writers were well aware of the importance of beauty, including slenderness, in women’s lives, so discussions of the existence of a Victorian “beauty myth” do not merely impose a twenty-ﬁrst-century concept upon the nineteenth century. Beauty has, of course, concerned both men and women throughout history, but Ellis’s statement alludes to a speciﬁc body type that many women cultivated in order to conform to a fashionable Victorian silhouette, “to wear precisely the same kind of dress” as their neighbors.
I then analyze the work of three of the Victorian era’s most popular authors, John Ruskin, Lewis Carroll, and Kate Greenaway, examining the ways that all three authors validate the body of the pre-pubescent girl over that of the adult woman. By symbolically arresting the development of their heroines, these authors parallel the behavior of the anorexic woman, who starves her body in order to forestall sexual maturation. My third chapter resumes chapter ’s analysis of the control and denial of female appetite, and the representation of female body size, through readings of Charlotte Bront¨e.
CHAPTER Waisted women: reading Victorian slenderness The extraordinary variety that is woman’s body is systematically ignored in our culture. The richness of our different shapes is reduced to the overriding image of slimness. Susie Orbach, Fat is a Feminist Issue It has always appeared to me to be one of the greatest existing absurdities, that a whole community of people, differing in complexion, form, and feature, as widely as the same species can differ, should . . desire to wear precisely the same kind of dress.