Discrimination of Women During the Elizabethan Era: The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

Discrimination of Women During the Elizabethan Era: The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

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Throughout the Elizabethan era, men had more advantages than women. William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew has characters such as Petruchio, Baptista, Katherine, and Bianca that show how men overpowered women. During the Elizabethan era, there was heavy sexism. Women were discriminated. Through Shakespeare’s language, men could speak to and about women in a disrespectful and derogatory manner. Women were voiceless and deprived of their right to speak. Women were inferior to men. During the Elizabethan era, through Shakespeare’s language, and in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, it is proven that men had more advantages than women.
People in the Elizabethan era demonstrated the heavy sexism during that period in history. During the Elizabethan era, there were not many expectations for men. They were allowed to do and say a lot more than women. It was considered a crime to insult men. Men also had a lot of freedom. Women did not have that luxury. They were not allowed to speak their mind. If they did, they would be judged, or even punished. They were expected to just be a spectator. People probably knew that women should have equal rights but they got so used to it that they eventually found it normal for women to be treated poorly. “Women were taught that they were inferior to men – indeed, that they were the one imperfection created by God (Roberts, Russell, pg. 37).” It was perfectly normal for a man to disrespect and mistreat women. It was so normal that it was being taught to children. Even if they were not taught, they would eventually learn that those were the rules. For example, in Katherine’s speech in (V.ii. 152-95), she talks about how mush a man is worth whereas in the beginning, she d...

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...en during the Elizabethan era, through Shakespeare’s language, and in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Women were inferior to men. During the Elizabethan era, women would be discriminated for doing things like voicing their opinion. Through Shakespeare’s language, it is evident that women had a bad reputation and called nasty things like a “fiend of hell” (I.i.90) if they spoke their mind like Katherine. They were expected to be quiet and to listen to men like Bianca. Women had so many disadvantages that even they thought that they were worthless.

Works Cited

Roberts, Russell. How’d They Do That in Elizabethan England. Hockessin: Mitchell
Lane Publishers, 2010
Shakespeare, William. The Taming of the Shrew. New York: Washington Square Press,
Elizabethan Women. 2014. Thomas, Heather. 17 Feb. 2014

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