Not Logged in.
Book Jacket

Hamnet


"Of all the stories...about Shakespeare’s life, [Hamnet] is so gorgeously ...
Summary and Reviews
Excerpt
Reading Guide
Author Biography

How do Mary, Joan, and Agnes differ in their approach to women's work in the world and rearing children, especially their daughters? How do you feel Agnes's insights affect her decisions as a mother?

Created: 06/16/22

Replies: 4

Posted Jun. 16, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2951

How do Mary, Joan, and Agnes differ in their approach to women's work in the world and rearing children, especially their daughters? How do you feel Agnes's insights affect her decisions as a mother?

Discuss the lineage of mothers within the two families in the novel vis-à-vis the expectations of women at the time. How do Mary, Joan, and Agnes differ in their approach to women's work in the world and rearing children, especially their daughters?

How do you feel Agnes's insights, especially her vision of two children at the foot of her deathbed, affect her decisions as a mother?


Posted Jun. 16, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janetp

Join Date: 08/16/11

Posts: 25

RE: How do Mary, Joan, and Agnes differ ...

Mary and Joan have a hard time understanding Agnes. Their approaches to women's work in the world were probably more typical of women in that era. Agnes's approach to life was different from anything but heroines in novels. This doesn't mean that I didn't buy into the character of Agnes, in fact it is how I wish that at least some women in the time thought and behaved. And there probably were women who were as independent and wise as Agnes, thus the mention more than once of spousal abuse. I'm thinking that John was definitely different from most men, which was somewhat believable being familiar with Shakespeare's plays and especially his sonnets.


Posted Jun. 23, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 634

RE: How do Mary, Joan, and Agnes differ ...

Joan and Mary are more traditional housewives of the era, taking care of the children, running the household and managing their servants. Agnes, however, was more concerned with the natural world around her and less concerned with the things that needed to be done around the house.

I think Agnes's insights actually blinded her in some regards. It caused her to expect Judith to die in infancy, while neglecting Hamnet. I'm not sure what impact (if any) that had on Hamnet's survival, but who knows, his death may have been preventable if she'd realized earlier that he was ill.


Posted Jun. 25, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
arlenei

Join Date: 08/12/21

Posts: 42

RE: How do Mary, Joan, and Agnes differ ...

Mary and Joan seemed to portray typical women during that period of time. Agnes was very different; she was a healer. Everyday running of her household was not what she wanted. Although Agnes starts off being independent and confident by the novels end I see her reverting to behaving “like the daughter of a farmer.”


Posted Jun. 26, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliep

Join Date: 04/07/12

Posts: 194

RE: How do Mary, Joan, and Agnes differ ...

Agnes always knew she was different, that she had an affinity with nature and using nature to heal people. She worked hard as a wife and mother, but a lot of her time and energy went to her healing arts. Her visions also affected her - she saw herself with two children, not three. But I don’t think she had any pre-warning or vision of Hamnet dying, and the plague worked too fast for her to do anything to save him.


Reply

Please login to post a response.