|King Lear and His Three Daughters, William Hilton|
In every case, the fathers know exactly what they want their daughters to grow up into. When the daughters get their own ideas about who they want to be, the fathers uniformly lose their marbles. Baptista forces Kate into marriage with a hilarious and terrifying abuser. Cymbeline banishes Imogen from England when her secret love-match with Posthumus comes to light. Lord Capulet threatens to let 13-year-old Juliet starve to death unless she marries his choice of husband. And most horrifically, Leonato wishes death on Hero to her face at the first hint that she might not be a perfect human being. (Hero, as always, gets dealt the worst hand ever: she alone didn't actually do the thing her father reviles her for.)
|Prospero and Miranda, William May Egley|
|Ferdinand and Miranda, Paul Falconer Poole|
|Claudio, Deceived by Don John, Accuses Hero, Marcus Stone|
The only ones who manage to survive the gauntlet with their relationship even a little intact are the fathers and daughters who let each other go. Prospero and Miranda will probably always adore each other; long-suffering Hero forgives her alarming father and her appalling fiance; Cymbeline, faced with Imogen's sheer guts, has the grace to realize that he can't put her back in a box she's already broken out of. The fathers who cling to their own visions for their daughters' future actually destroy it. And the harder they hold on, the harder the girls fight to be free, and everyone gets hurt much, much worse.