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Hello, and welcome to Waxen Hearts.


In Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Viola quickly falls in love with Orsino and bemoans women’s “waxen hearts”, easily impressed by men. Shakespeare plays on the fact that during the early modern period people believed that women’s minds were more impressionable and moldable than those of men. At the same time the “woman” speaking these lines is, in fact, a boy actor (playing a boy dressed as girl), so this type of “woman” is indeed a thing purely molded by men. Whilst rejecting the sexist sentiment of “waxen hearts”, I would like to appropriate the phrase to describe how Shakespeare’s language, beautiful in its own right, has been reused and molded to suit the various purposes of his successors.

In this blog I will use (and perhaps misuse) language and moments from Shakespeare’s plays to suit my mood.



About me

I am currently completing a PhD in English Literature. My research interests include the early modern world, women's writing in the renaissance, the works of Mary Wroth (the first English woman to write and publish a sonnet sequence), and, of course, Shakespeare. Find out more about my research and teaching on my eportfolio.

As a woman who has the privilege of enjoying education, freedom, the right to vote, and so much more, I am a feminist. I enjoy film, fashion, art, theatre, trashy tv, great hair, and a bit of yoga. In this blog I hope to combine all of these with my life long love of Shakespeare.

If there are any news items or topics you'd enjoy reading about with a Shakespeare twist, let me know in the comments below.


Thomasin Bailey & Shakespeare
Photograph by Peter Marsh at ashmorevisuals.

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