Essay On The Role Of Women In The Merchant Of Venice

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Role of women in The Merchant of Venice
Women during 16th century had no individual freedom. Despite the fact that a single woman ruled England at the time of Shakespeare, the Elizabethan society was patriarchal. Women were considered the weaker gender and always in need of being protected. Wealthy woman were highly educated but they had no right to have professions while poor women sometimes would turn to prostitution or become servants to survive. The book The Merchant of Venice was settled in Venice because Shakespeare wanted to show that even in the foundation place of Renaissance were prejudicial ideas and woman was considered as a weak character. Did Shakespeare believe that women were weak or did he believed that they were equally …show more content…

Society during that time, believed that women weren’t intelligent enough to take on such roles. Women in the Merchant of Venice go against their gender roles. Men did not think that women could ever be as smart as they were, and did not listen or take advice from women that is why Portia had to dress up as a man just to get the men to listen to her and Antonio was saved just because of her intelligence. Here is revealed the idea of love that women can do everything to see their husbands happy.
Jessica also goes against the gender role of women, because she is making her own decision about her life. Jessica shows strength when she abandons her father for Lorenzo. She doesn 't ask her father if she can marry Lorenzo, she just does it on her own. This behavior goes against prescribed gender roles for women in Shakespeare 's time period. She also wills to convert to Christianity in order to be respected by people. Here we see the hatred of Jessica toward her father and toward her religion.
Two important symbols that we have in this play are the rings that Portia and Nerissa give to their husbands. Bassanio promised

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