Shakespeare Studies 25 (1997): 32 - 41 Ekici, Sara (2009). Feminist Criticism: Female Characters in Shakespeare's Plays Othello and Hamlet. Munich: GRIN Publishing. Heilbrun, Carolyn G. (2002). Hamlet's Mother and Other Women.
David Kastan. Malden Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers Inc., 1999. 85-99. Dash, Irene. Wooing, Wedding, and Power: Women in Shakespeare’s Plays.
"The cultural work of the Type-Writer Girl," Victorian Studies, V40 n3 (1997): Spring, pp. 401-426. Web. 26 May 2015. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3829292?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents Kessler-Harris, Alice. Out to work: a history of wage-earning women in the United States (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982).
The Gentleman’s Daughter: Women’s Lives in Georgian England. New Haven, CT. Yale University Press, 1998) Socia1 C1ass Mobility In some places, once you were part of a social class, you had to stay in it. You could not marry into another class; work with the other classes, or even associate with the other classes. We@1th, education, ethnicit... ... middle of paper ... ...here was a huge social gap between them, and their marriage upset quite a few people in the upper class. The upper classes made it seem like Elizabeth was unsuitable for Darcy, even though she was quite intelligent.
Any debate based upon gender roles must therefore focus upon these two characters. Shakespeare portrays Gertrude as a woman of power and intelligence - she was Queen for a considerable amount of time - we can safely assume at least 30 years - and she is asked advice on matters by King Claudius - "Do you think 'tis this?" (II.2.152). Gertrude is a woman who married her own brother-in-law; perhaps to remain in her position of power. It is often debated whether or not Gertrude was involved in the killing of King Hamlet - either way, Gertrude seems to have complied fully in her marriage to Claudius - she doesn't seem at all offended by Claudius' presence - perhaps reason to suspect that she was unaware of Claudius' role in Hamlet's death, if she was uninvolved.
3rd ed. London : Arden Shakespeare, 1996. 113-330. Print. Stavropoulos , Janet C. “ Love and Age in Othello.” Shakespeare Studies 19 (1987): 125-33.
Macmillan New York, NY 1994. (page 39-55) Neely, Carol. "Women and Men in Othello" Critical Essays on Shakespeare’s Othello. Ed. Anthony G. Barthelemy Pub.
Marriage was seen as the only way for women to move on from their families. If women were not married they would stay with their families until they got married or remain spinsters and perceived as burdens on their families. Many marriages at this time were arranged. An arranged marriage looked at the persons family and connections as well as status and the individuals personal attributes, such as looks, personality and interests. The status and hierarchy system was in use at this time, this means that women rarely able to marry higher than the social status they were born into; and so a genteel woman would resolve to marry a gentle man, if they were lucky.