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Shakespeare’s Strong Women Essay

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During the Elizabethan era, women were supposed to be typical housewives and mothers that bore children every two years (Thomas). In contrast, although Shakespeare’s women knew their place, they were intelligent and surprisingly strong willed.
Women during Shakespeare’s time were to be considered “the weaker sex”, and that didn’t just mean physically, but emotionally as well. Women were inferior to the men. They always needed to have someone looking after them, and if they were married, it was the husbands job. If they were unwed, they were to have either their father, brother or a male relative take care of them (Thomas). When they got married, they traditionally lost all control over their property, even clothes and jewelry. Everything now belonged to her husband, and he could do whatever he pleased with her belongings. In The Taming of the Shrew, Petruchio states that Katherine is “my goods, my chattels; she is my house, My household stuff, my field, my barn, my horse, my ox, my ass, my any thing”. If Katherine was to die before Petruchio, he would inherit all of her land, but if he was the first to go, Katherine would only receive one third of his (Papp). Shakespeare is portraying a characteristic of how Elizabethan women were through one of his plays. They were taught to have a charm to them and to be dressed flamboyantly so that they were both pleasing to look at and to show about how their husbands’ or fathers’ social statuses were (Radek).
Education for women was very hard to obtain if you were not able to hire a tutor. They were not allowed to attend school or go to any universities. If they did receive education, they were still not able to enroll in professions of law, medicine, or politics. What they...


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...." Helium. Web. 6 Dec 2009. .

"Was Shakespeare a Feminist?." Academic Medium. 5 April 2007. Web. 6 Dec 2009.
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"Romeo and Juliet: Analysis of Major Characters." Sparknotes. Web. 6 Dec 2009. .

Jameson, Mrs. Characteristics of Women. New Ed. London and Basingstoke: THE MACMILLAN PRESS LTD, 1975. 96-97. Print.

"Crowther, John, ed. “No Fear Romeo and Juliet.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. 2005. Web. 7 Dec. 2009.

Rashid, Huma. "Shakespeare's Portrayal of Women." Helium. Web. 13 Dec 2009. .


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