At the time women were second class citizens, they could not vote nor own properties and such. Surprising England with her intelligence and fierce rulings, she changed herself to make better decisions. She proved through her rulings, to everyone that females were strong and could rule just as well as a king. She refused to marry, giving a feeling of “I don’t need a man for anything.” The Queen was responsible for giving females a voice in literature and it is shown through Shakespeare’s writings. Queen Elizabeth I ruled for much of Shakespeare’s life in England and therefore had a great impact on his work.
Women are the jewels of creation. They are seen today as the most beautiful treasure that a man feels the need to protect. However, back in the time period of the seventeenth and eighteenth century, women weren’t treated nor did they act the way they do today. Back then, women were “expected to assume a more passive role” (Bolon). This however was changed when Shakespeare decided to show that women could be different, especially in his Lady Macbeth play.
To the audience, both modern and renaissance, there are a lot of questions raised as to why Shakespeare chose a woman to play the protagonist, considering the era which it was written was very patriarchal. However, it is important that the audience knows that at the time the book was written a woman was in political power, Queen Elizabeth. Shakespeare therefore constructs his female characters based on a woman of power to be able to cater for his female readers and not only to the man. It can be viewed that Shakespeare’s use of identity, disguise and cross dressing was to dispel gender stereotypes and patriarchy. Also to show that women aren’t inferior to men but that woman and men are the same in terms of power, protection and intelligence and any other view are maybe just prejudiced.
But here's my husband, And so much duty as my mother showed to you" Of course to an Elizabethan audience, this would not have come as a surprise, because the roles of the women in Shakespeare's plays were prominent for the time and culture in which their society lived. In sharp contrast to this, it is difficult as a modern audience to appreciate the ideas that women were not only possessions, but that they also knew and accepted this fact. The simple reason for this disbelief being that women in our modern society have equal rights to men. At the beginning of the play we find Desdemona is treated much as all women would have been in this period, but in Act 1, Scene 3, an unusually occurrence happens and Desdemona is given the chance to speak for herself: "Let me go with him" Not only does she speak of her love for Othello, but also how she wants to go with him whilst he fights the Turks. When Desdemona makes this plea the reactions of an Elizabethan and modern audience would... ... middle of paper ... ...at this kind of cruelty towards blacks was an accepted expect of Elizabethan society What's more, a modern audience would most likely not be superstitious and rather than taking the witchcraft accusation seriously would call Brobantio `a silly old man', simply because advances in technology have proven that witchcraft does not exist and didn't all those centuries ago.
Socially, in the Elizabethan times, Women were seen as the inferior sex and were expected to listen to every command that a man barked. Women in this time were also not known for questioning the morals and actions of a man. In Romeo and Juliet, to no extent does Juliet represent girls in the Elizabethan era according to the expected gender roles seen in the mid-16th century. Although other characters in the play represented women as the weaker sex (True; and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, is ever thrust to the wall---“(Act 1 Scene 1). Juliet defies this representation in her relationship with Romeo.
Her personality is strong and she is independent, unlike most women. This makes her unattractive to most suitors and gains her the label of shrew. She demonstrates her personality in the beginning of the play: "I pray you sir, is it your will to make a stale of me amongst these mates?" (1.1 57-58). Shakespeare uses the characterization of Kate to demonstrate the defiance against traditional gender roles and how Kate almost immediately speaks out for herself, unlike her sister Bianca.
A woman of that time period was very objectified and used, basically women weren't real people. In The Elizabethans by A.N Wilson, Wilson states “ The Elizabethan woman was not necessarily ... ... middle of paper ... ...ad of his time. He captured the stereotypical women of his time , while breaking the mold and working outside of the box to create women who were normal and accepted by the public but at the same time completely non traditional. In each of his plays the women are the same, with their own little quirks, but overall they all portray a woman that isn't totally fitting to the elizabethan stereotype. Shakespeare was clearly way ahead of his time as a writer.
Despite qualities women were expected to have in Shakespeare’s time, Lady Macbeth disregarded the manner in which most women of her time acted. During the Renaissance period, women had no status and relied on male figures for guidance and support (“Elizabethan Women”). Lady Macbeth challenges the role of women during Shakespeare’s time, as she is stronger, more vicious, and more ambitious than her husband. Shakespeare illustrates a contradictory characterization of Lady Macbeth in contrast to the subservient women of the Renaissance era, creating an intriguing relationship between her and Macbeth in their quest for power. Upon the introduction of the Macbeths in the play, it is apparent that they do not exemplify the conventional men and women of Shakespeare’s day (“Elizabethan Women”).
Women in the renaissance era did not have much power in society, their gender roles were very “clearly defined with men reigning superior over women” (“The Life and Roles of Elizabethan Era Women”). In the book Wooing, Wedding, and Power: Women in Shakespeare’s plays Irene Dash believes that Desdemona "is a woman slowly tamed in the crucible of marriage." Dash argues that more is expected from Desdemona than from Othello and that in the play she is made weak and overly passive to her husband (103). In the beginning of the play after Desdemona and Othello are married in secret, Desdemona reasons with her father saying although she owes much to him "for life and education" Othello is her husband "And so much duty as [her] mother show'd/ To [her father], preferring [him] before her [own]father,/ So much [she] challenge that [she] may profess/ Due to the Moor [her] lord"(1,3,530-37). Desdemona not only uses logic to present her argument but she is listened to by the Duke, senators, officers, and her father bo... ... middle of paper ... ...s relationship.
Portrayal of Women in Shakespeare's Hamlet Shakespeare was possibly the first writer to portray women as strong, crafty, and intelligent. However, he has still received criticism from feminists about his representation of women. Some have even accused him of misogyny. There are only two female characters in the play Hamlet - Gertrude, Hamlet's mother and Ophelia, daughter of Polonius. Any debate based upon gender roles must therefore focus upon these two characters.