Dark Lady (character)

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For other uses, see Dark Lady.

The Dark Lady is a stock character in fiction. Her darkness is either literal, meaning that she has a dark skin, or metaphorical in that she is a tragic, doomed figure. The two may go together, with one being an allegory for the other. The Dark Lady is not usually seen to be married to a Dark Lord.


William Shakespeare wrote of a Dark Lady in his sonnets. The woman is described as having both dark features and having a dark nature.[1] There has been much speculation as to her true identity.[2] He also created several, doomed dark ladies as characters in his plays such as Cleopatra and Lady Macbeth.[3]

In American literature[edit]

In American media, she is often portrayed as Latina.[4]

Notable Dark Ladies[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hudson Shakespeare Company, Dark Lady Sonnets
  2. ^ PBS, In Search of Shakespeare: Emilia Lanier (the Dark Lady?), series originally broadcast February 4th - 25th, 2004
  3. ^ Ludwig Jekels, "The Riddle of Shakespeare's Macbeth", The Psychoanalytic Review 30: 361–385 
  4. ^ Clara E. Rodriguez (1997), Latin Looks: Images of Latinas and Latinos in the U.S. Media, Boulder, Colo. ;Cumnor Hill, Oxford: Westview Pr., ISBN 0-8133-2766-0