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An Exploration of the Causes of Isabel’s Tragedy in The Portrait of a Lady

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DOI: 10.25236/iclahd.2019.069


Qiao Lin

Corresponding Author

Qiao Lin


Isabel Archer, the female protagonist of The Portrait of a Lady, ends her life with a tragedy. Quite a large number of scholars and critics have concentrated on the inner factors or mainly relied on her personal causes to explain her tragic life. In this essay, the author intends to find out that the outer forces of the 19th century society and environment to explain Isabel’s tragedy best. The author explains the outer forces in three aspects. They are the influence of Puritanism, the influence of Feminism and the influence of the Victorian Masculinity. This essay is largely a rudimentary step to explore the outer forces that drive Isabel’s tragic life with an analytical approach employed.


Tragedy; freedom; outer forces