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.
The Feminine Mind Created by William Shakespeare: Feminism in The Merchant of Venice There’s a surprising amount of classic literature that pass the Bechdel test; Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Charlotte Brontё’s Jane Eyre, and William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice (depending on how one interprets Nerissa and Portia’s conversation about candlelight and music (V. I. 98-119)) all manage to meet the three requirements. Created by Alison Bechdel, the test’s rules are simple: there must be at least two women who talk about something other than a man. However, it would be rash to assume all works that pass are feminist masterpieces. Dracula strays far from the feminist ideal, painting Mina Murray, the fiancée of main character Jonathan Harker, as the “ideal” woman based off her role as an obedient wife and as a figure of purity.
Each female character is treated by men as a possession. However, there are also moments when they are presented as confident and challenge a male authority. This would have been exiting for Shakespeare’s female Elizabethan audience as women
Christie Yeo Qing Wen Professor Kevin Riordan HL1002: Survey of English Literature I 6 November 2015 The Deception of Gender In The Merchant of Venice, deceptive façades are reinforced by Portia’s seeming subjugation to male rule, but in truth, her status as an empowered female who maintains her autonomy and ultimately outwits and subverts the authority of the patriarchal Elizabethan society.
Not only did men see women as unintelligent, they also saw them as weak and compliant. What made this worse was that women of higher status would have a lot of free time since they had servants to do everything. They would spend their time strolling around or doing ‘feminine hobbies’; this affirmed mens’ notion that that women were idle and did not do much, so they treated them this way. To see how dire their situation was, one must must only have to read A Midsummer Night’s Dream. While fictitious, this story does show one bit of truth, the way women were being treated during this era.
As explained by Bianca-Oana Petrut, “Despite the relative insignificance of women in Elizabethan social order, Shakespeare uses them in many significant ways. He seems to be extremely sensitive to the importance of women in society even though they are often overlooked. The idea that men are often a product of the women in their lives is indirectly suggested in the significant impact women have on the men in plays.” (Petrut) Stating the obvious; Petrut is saying that it is the women in Shakespeare who run the plays, not the men.
Shakespeare believes that Gender roles shouldn’t be the stereotype of any relationship because the roles can be switched, and them being switched can cause a lot of trouble. When a woman thinks for men it ends up pretty bad. The play Macbeth shows that when a man follows a women's word because they love them, that's when
Women in medieval society were competing with men to gain power and high social positions. The mentality of women was to live a life full of commodities and gain honors in the social aspect as noblemen did. The Merchant 's wife portrays this role. Since she is an apparent wealthy women who des not mind of having sexual intimacy with Don Jhons ' due to financial exchange. In medieval times arrangement marriage were so common because women wanted to obtain a high social status in society and be treated with respect and honor.
Many female critics have looked towards The Wife of Bath as a feminist role model (Reisman) She wanted authority over her five husbands, “She’d been respectable throughout her life, with five churched husbands bringing joy and strife, Not counting other company in her youth;” (Chaucer, l. 459-461) In Othello, the society centered around the men having all the control over women except in their beds, which was when the women could take control. Othello uses his power to over Desdemona to mock her,“Ay, you did wish that I would make her turn. Sir, she can turn, and turn, and get go on, And turn again.
During the Elizabethan period, the role of women in society was very different from what it is today. According to the system of patriarchal society that dictated that women were inferior to men, they had to obey the male figures in their lives. The woman was seen as the weaker sex either physically or emotionally which meant that it was entirely dependent on her husband if married and members of his family if single. Moreover, in the Elizabethan theater, women were not allowed to play because of this hierarchy. Therefore, they were replaced by men disguised as women.
A Modern View of Feminist Criticism William Shakespeare 's "Othello” can be analyzed from a feminist perspective. This criticism focuses on relationships between genders, like the patterns of thoughts, behavior, values, enfranchisement, and power in relations between and within sexes. A feminist examination of the play enables us to judge the distinctive social esteems and status of women and proposes that the male-female power connections that become an integral factor in scenes of Othello impact its comprehension. I believe that the critical lens that provides modern society with the most compelling view of literature is Feminist Criticism because it analyzes distrust and disloyalty among relationships, women being treated as possessions
It’s no surprise, that Shakespeare’s Macbeth was clearly constructed as a rebellion against femininity roles of the time. During the Elizabethan era, women were raised to believe they were inferior to men since men obtained desired masculine qualities such as strength, and loyalty, whereas women were viewed as figures of hospitality (1; 6; 28-31). Obviously, not being tempted by the luxury of subservient women, William Shakespeare rebuked this twisted belief, applying that women deserve more respect than their kitchen tables.
“And though she be but little, she is fierce” -William Shakespeare. In today’s day and age, one of the greatest topics of debate is gender roles. It is evident everywhere, from cyberspace to the streets of home, from online petitions to marches across the country such as the Women’s March. Shakespeare lived in the Elizabethan Era of England, where Queen Elizabeth I, the virgin queen ruled.
Shakespeare's Othello is set during the Renaissance period and therefore the roles of the women in Othello are supposedly bounded by the period when women are considered to be of low intellect. In Othello, most male characters assume that women are inherently promiscuous, which explains why all three women characters in the play are accused of sexual infidelity. Yet Shakespeare develops the women to speak the most sense throughout the play and able to trust other characters in the play. To the men in Othello, female sexuality is a threatening force more than it is an attractive one.
While Desdemona is a remarkably strong character, Emilia also displays independence unmatched by any other female in Othello, and there are multiple details of Shakespeare and his time that may have prompted such a portrayal. In Elizabethan England, many women worked behind the scenes of productions, like Shakespeare’s, as uncredited authors and editors (Crowley). Due to their anonymity, nobody can be sure that women were involved in Shakespeare’s plays nor Othello in particular, but there is a genuine possibility that female writers did have leverage. This may have had to do with how Emilia was portrayed as resilient from the time of Desdemona’s death all the way until her own, standing up for herself regardless of the ridicule it caused her (Iyasere). In fact, it even killed her in the end. Moreover, women may have surreptitiously helped formulate Emilia’s self-sufficiency and valor in order to either live vicariously through her, in frustration with their misogynist society, or at the very least, to comment on it. Additionally, it is likely that Emilia’s independence was inspired by Shakespeare’s own wife and mother, whose atypical authority can both be confidently assumed. Shakespeare’s mother, Mary Arden, very possibly had more sway in her relationship with Shakespeare’s father, John Shakespeare, because before their marriage, Mary was in a higher social class than John, as her father was a gentleman farmer (Andrews). Thus she was not entirely reliant on her husband. As