Shakespeare and the Problem with Proto-Feminism

Written Emily Ogden

Earlier this month, one of our contributing general staff members, Eleni Theodoropoulos, wrote an inaugural post for our “The Female Odyssey” column, about women and magic in fairy tales. Today, Emily Ogden contributes to that column as she talks about women in Shakespeare.

If you are a fan of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, then I apologize in advance for this installment of our “Female Odyssey” column, in which I may just ruin this play for you. Shakespeare is widely regarded as a “proto-feminist,” one ahead of his time due to the strong female characters that often appear in his Renaissance plays. While I agree that he writes women who “talk the talk”—there are plenty of sassy, brilliant ladies that outwit their male counterparts—as far as being allowed to :walk the walk,” these same women are often completely robbed of agency in his stories.

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The Problem with Antigone: A Martyr’s Motivations

Written by Emily Ogden

For fairly obvious reasons (he committed both patricide and incest), I could have written this segment of our Problematic Literary Faves column on Oedipus. But instead I decided to focus on his kids, who have just as many problems. Oedipus and his mother bore two sons and two daughters: Polyneices, Eteocles, Antigone, and Ismene. In the beginning of Sophocles’ Antigone, both brothers have died on opposing sides of a civil war. Creon, Antigone’s uncle and the king since Oedipus gouged out his eyes and exiled himself (see reasons above), has decided to deny his nephew Polyneices’ body proper burial rights as punishment for the side he chose. (This is actually quite a big deal, because it means Polyneices will not proceed into the afterlife.) Antigone defies Creon and buries her brother. Tragically, she is caught and left to die in a cave, where she hangs herself before poor Haemon, her fiancé and Creon’s son, finds her. He also commits suicide, which finally makes Creon wish he had handled this a bit differently, but of course this all came just a little too late.

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Austin’s New Central Library Is Everyone’s Library

Written by Emily Ogden

If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit Austin’s new Central Library, I hope this article is the motivation you need to make your way down to this impressive building located in the heart of our city. While all libraries are undoubtedly a wonderful haven for community members, this place is perhaps incomparably glorious.

All I could think as I explored each of the six floors for the first time was that this library is alive. There is constant motion as people bustle from floor to floor on the grand staircase, browse among the shelves, or search for a place to settle down and study. The already intimate community of this place is evident, from staff members leading kids to the puppet show on floor three, to the live string quartet playing Christmas melodies on floor six.

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Amazon Bookstore Coming to Austin

Written by Emily Ogden

Amazon is set to open one of its two newest Amazon Books stores in Austin, Texas, according to the Austin-American Statesman. The store will make its home in the Domain shopping center in early 2018. Since 2015, Amazon Books has opened thirteen brick-and-mortar locations in seven different states.

The stores utilize the same power of analytics that have made their online book sales so successful. As reported in the Mercury News, Amazon Books vice president Cameron Janes said, “All 3,800 titles in the store are rated four stars or higher by customers on Amazon or are among the top sellers.” Each book is selected based on its popularity on Amazon, and some are even paired with lesser-known titles to allow shoppers to explore new books—just like the website.

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