Essay on Shakespeare´s Portrayal of Beatrice

Essay on Shakespeare´s Portrayal of Beatrice

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Beatrice’s comical nature and extrovert personality allows Shakespeare to illustrate a persona to which the Elizabethan audience would not have been able to relate. Hamada states that ‘…imposed on women three virtues-obedience, silence, and chastity’. Beatrice is a character who rebels from these expectations. Contemporary audiences would have been shocked and humoured by the fact that Shakespeare allows a female character to be so vocal in the play. However, a twenty first century audience would find her to be relatable as many modern females have similar personality traits to Beatrice. Moreover, Shakespeare is able to produce a character such as her as she is fictional. Hence, Carlson’s judgement is correct. Moreover, Shakespeare creates an uninhibited female character so that he is able to satirize the role of women during the sixteenth century and add to the comical element of the play.
Elizabeth I was known ‘at home and abroad as a “female Prince”, and Parliamentary statute declared her a “king”’ Preedy (2009). The impression given of Elizabeth Tudor is that she was dominant, intelligent and witty. There are many similarities between her and the female protagonist that Shakespeare creates. One being that Elizabeth chose to not get married and not to create an heir. Beatrice openly states her dislike for marriage. Thus, it is clear to see the comparability between the two. However, Elizabeth was only able to behave the way she did due to her position in England during the sixteenth-century. She was queen of England. Moreover, the importance of individuals depended on their position in social hierarchy. In Much Ado Beatrice does not have a father. She is the niece of Leonato. Thus, she uses her voice to be noticed and consider...

... middle of paper ...

...the gender equality that women desired during the Elizabethan era. His use of satire allowed him to subtly reveal the gender issues which he believed to be occurring during the sixteenth century. However, this ‘equality’ only existed to an extent and only for the duration of the play. Some would argue that it never existed at all, and still does not.

Works Cited

SHAKESPEARE, W, 1600. Much Ado about Nothing. Arden Shakespeare edition. Great Britain: Bloomsbury publications [Accessed 15 Oct 2013]
CREED. B, 1993. the Monstrous-Feminine. USA and Canada: Routledge [Accessed 21 Oct 2013] [Accessed 21 Oct 2013]

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