New York: W.W Norton & Company, 2010. 556-559. Print. Johnson, Samuel. Preface to Shakespeare.
Ed. X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 3rd Compact ed. New York: Longman, 2003.
By ending the play this way, Behn is saying people who love each other shouldn’t have to fight to be together, thereby proving this patriarchic practice unfair. By placing an emphasis on the man who uses women as sex objects by titling her play after him; by having almost all the female characters in the play treated horribly, used, and manipulated; and having the female characters barely putting up a fight, Aphra Behn suggests the heavily patriarchic society that exists is too extensive and is dangerous for the women in it.
“From In Memoriam A.H.H.” 1849. The Norton Anthology of English Literature, vol. 2. 9th edition. Boston: W.W. Norton, 2013.
In traditional literature, females are commonly portrayed in a negative light by male writers. The belief that females are inferior to men has resulted in a patriarchal society within the majority of the world. Not until recently have females been commonly portrayed as strong and independent characters. In the poem, Macbeth, Shakespeare diverts from the usual portrayal of women through a major character, Lady Macbeth. The ironic depiction of women presented in Macbeth challenges the view of women during the Medieval era while still hindering equality for women.
Since the beginning of human civilization, women have often occupied inferior roles in society while the dominant role has been played by men. In Homer’s The Odyssey gender roles in Greek society are emphasized showing how men controlled society while women were undervalued and constantly disrespected. Although it may be argued that Homer poses some rather feminist views, it is evident by several elements that The Odyssey is a misogynistic text. First, women in the Odyssey were continually oppressed by men never having true free will. In addition, Women were depicted as symbols of lust, seduction, and evil who bring destruction to men, undermining the true values of women.
Desdemona, Emilia, and Bianca are all treated with this role in Othello, but in the end Desdemona is ultimately Othello’s weakness. The women in Othello were not treated as a man’s equal, but instead his property; these women were used against the heroes, and caused much commotion throughout the play. In Othello’s day and age women were seen as a man’s property. They were assigned a man to marry and that’s how it was. Levenson states “A marriage which met parental opposition inevitably led to disaster” (Levenson 851).