Shakespearean Heroines

Can you name the Shakespearean heroines from the clues below?

A novice nun who pretends to sleep with Angelo to save her brother from execution.
Wrongly accused of infidelity by her husband, Leontes, she is thought to be dead until the final act.
Wrongly accused of infidelity by her husband, she is strangled in the final act.
Unlike her two sisters, she refuses to flatter her father in return for a larger inheritance.
She married one of the great Shakespearean villains, despite him having killed her father and late husband.
This shipwrecked heroine pretends to be a boy and is later confused with her twin brother, Sebastian.
An ambitious woman who eventually becomes Queen of Scotland.
The taller of two best friends, she runs away to the forest after being banished from the court by her uncle, the usurping Duke.
The shorter of two best friends, she runs away to the forest after her cousin is banished by her uncle, and takes on the name Aliena.
The taller of two best friends, she runs away to the forest with Demetrius.
The shorter of two best friends, she runs away to the forest with Lysander.
She disguises herself as a lawyer to save her love, Bassanio.
This witty woman finally falls in love with her favorite sparring partner after falling victim to a trick played by her cousin, Hero.
Until she decides to marry, her younger sister Bianca is forbidden to do so.
Daughter of the Lord Chamberlain, she drowns herself in a brook.
Her husband ignores her advice--as well as that of a soothsayer--and ends up murdered by one of his closest friends.
Brought up on an island, the only human she remembers seeing is her father.
The daughter of Calchas, this Trojan woman falls in love with the son of Priam.
She is two weeks shy of her 14th birthday at the beginning of the play, as her nurse well remembers.
In mourning for her dead brother and father, she spurns a lovelorn Duke, only to fall in love with her young page (who is actually a woman masquerading as a man!).
The chaste wife of an exiled husband, she runs away to a forest AND drinks fake poison to avoid plots by the nefarious Iachimo.
The conquering Queen of the Goths, she (unknowingly) eats her own sons in a pie.
She marries her late husband's brother--while her ghostly husband haunts her son.
Queen of the Fairies, she falls in love with an ass.
She has two emperors for lovers, reigns over a great kingdom, and commits suicide by snake.
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  • Note: The term Heroine may be used somewhat loosely for some of these scene-stealing women...
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Last Updated: Feb 7, 2020
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