Dressing the Borgias: Giulia and Vannozza

Giulia and Vannozza, season 2 episode 1One of the things I loved about The Borgias is that the women weren’t relegated to a second-class status on the show. They weren’t mindless sex objects, helpless creatures, or characters whose stories relied entirely on the male characters. They were strong, intelligent, and forceful. They used the weapons at their disposal (not just their beauty or their sexuality, either) to forward their own goals, largely managed to retain their agency within the sexual constraints of the time, and won the respect of the men because of it. They were complicated–even the more minor roles had some interesting shades of grey–and they made the show that much richer.

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