Gender Roles in Shakespearan Society and Modern Society As Viewed in Movies

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Susan B. Anthony, a woman American civil rights leader said, “I shall earnestly and persistently continue to urge all women to the practical recognition of the old Revolutionary maxim. Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.” This quote directly relates to the stereotypical thinking about gender in both the Elizabethan Era and 19th century because women wanted to be recognized. In Chekhov’s, “The Lady with the Little Dog,” Dmitri Gurov experiences women to be the “lower race,” but when he meets Anna Sergeyovna he begins to think differently. One of Shakespeare’s works, Twelfth Night, depicts a love triangle that plays an important gender role. In addition, Viola/Cesario disguises herself in order to survive in the Illyria. In the film, Shakespeare in Love, Viola de Lesseps fools society by dressing as man, Thomas Kent, to follow Shakespeare, her love of the theater. The film reminds us repeatedly, a complex world where gender roles are uncertain, and things are seldom what they may seem. Anton Chekhov’s “The Lady with the Little Dog” and William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, along with the film Shakespeare in Love, depict the similarities of the Elizabethan Era and 19th century of women through induced character roles and powerful emotions. Shakepeare in Love comes closest to breaking the gender seal because the Viola uses clear and concise actions throughout the film.
In “The Lady with the Little Dog,” Chekhov’s character, Dmitri Gurov, an initial male chauvinist married man, has lust for many females, but changes to heart-felt love when he encounters Anna Sergeyovna. She counteracts Dmitri view of women as the “lower race” by using shy and constrained appearances to aid her throughout their meetings. Chekhov describes Anna as...

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.... “The Lady with the Little Dog,” finishes last because there is not enough character development towards gender relations, but rather more emphasis towards love.

Works Cited

Chekhov, Anton. Literature: Reading Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Comp. Robert DiYanni.
6th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2007. Print.

"Movie Discussion Club Post #4: Shakespeare in Love." Web log post. Blogspot. Blogspot, 29 May 2012. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. .

Perko, Ashley. Gender Role Reversal in Twelfth Night and The Rover. Essay. N.p.: n.p., n.d. MIT Open Course Ware. MIT, Mar.-Apr. 2008. Web. 19 Nov. 2013. .

Shakespeare, William. Twelfth Night Or, What You Will. Ed. Gayle Gaskill. Newburyport: Focus, 2012. Print.

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