Feminist Perspectives on Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice Feminist criticism has blossomed to a large extent and it has become one of the world 's most vibrant and vigorously practiced schools for analyzing literature. It has also provoked some spirited warfare in academe.It is obvious that all feminist critics are not only women and they disagree with one another on many debatable points. There is no denying the fact that they share common ground in the belief that literature reflects the oppression of women in a world dominated by men. The society that Shakespeare reflects in Belmont and Venice is largely patriarchal in structure. In spite of the male dominated values of Venice and Belmont, the female characters of the play, become
Within The Merchant of Venice, Portia is a highlighted symbol of the traditional gender roles women were expected to follow and her defiance was an accurate representation of a rugged individualist. Her actions for instance, dressing as a boy to defend in court, playing a trick on Bassonia, and being forced into her fathers lottery, were actions that made her a “good girl” and a “bad girl” at the same time according to society. Throughout the movie there were constant illustrations of traditional gender roles with not only Portia but all the characters as well. This made every character individual and unique which expressed common ways people would act within shakespeare
Penelope’s power does not only derive from her position in her household, it also derives from her character. Her worth is measured by her action and choices and what others thinks of her. She is praised by men and placed on a level of status only equaled to men. The obvious role she played was to help her husband and his return, but the more complex one is her impact on the society and its rules that Homer depicted. Penelope was in the epic a woman who was wielding power in a misogynistic society, and she had to bend and break rules to gain and justify the authority she had over
Using these words, the authors draw the line of distinction between the roles of “the saint” and “the whore” (200). Secondly, independent women in fairy tales were often associated with the concept of evil because they menaced the patriarchal order itself (203). No longer relying on men for emotional or economic support, these women were harder to control (203). However, back in the days when these tales were crafted, “most women had not been by tradition so fortunate as to enjoy the economic independence that would enable them to run their lives as wished” (203). As a result, their roles in society were entirely defined by their relationships with men (207).
Throughout the Renaissance, marginalised groups of society were often neglected in favour of the elite, which mostly consisted of rich white men. For the most part, men resided over their wives and were the dominant members of the household and consequently, society. Society expected women to be completely devoted towards their husbands and children; a role often discerned in Shakespeare’s plays and many others during the Renaissance era. It can be argued that this calibre of misogyny is reflected in the texts of the era and is a paramount explanation as to why women were often “punished” for their decisions, explaining the ending to The Duchess of Malfi. If women’s husband were to die, they certainly must not remarry and instead remain celibate.
In Conclusion, marriage is a great process which can build great relationship that is full of happiness and love. Because of men’s thinking control over women, marriage processes cannot be successful all the time. Most of the time, men’s actions lead to the divorce. After the divorce, the people who are blamed are women. Most of the time, men are shown that they are innocent, and women are the guilty people.
Shakespeare gives us a picture of Shylock as a cold hard revengeful man. Portia Smart, wealthy, and beautiful, Portia embodies the virtues that are typical of Shakespeare’s heroines. At the beginning of the play we do not see Portia’s potential, as she is a prisoner to her father’s dying wishes this opening appearance proves to reveal the rule abiding lady. She does not ignore the stipulations of her father’s will, she goes through a whole lot of suitors, happy to see these particular suitors go, but sad that she has no choice in the matter. When Bassanio arrives, however, Portia proves herself to be highly resourceful, begging the man she loves to stay a while before picking a chest, and finding loopholes in the will’s provision that we never thought existed.
Dishonesty and greediness are two words that most people encounter at some point in their lives, and Mathilde comes face to face with both of them, and she suffers the consequences of her actions. In the short story, “The Diamond Necklace”, a woman learns that honesty is the best policy, and that greediness can cause many unnecessary troubles. This fable unfolds with a thorough characterization of its main character, Mathilde Loisel. Mathilde is beautiful and charming, but was born into a family of clerks and married a clerk as well, and the thing she desires most is to be wealthy. In hopes of pleasing his wife, Mathilde’s husband arrives home from work with an invitation to an exclusive, elegant ball, thrown by the Minister of Education.
Mainly there are strong, independent, brave women who do not want to be under men's control, but there are also a few weaker characters - but they often play passive roles in the play. Nevertheless, in the middle of male-dominant society Shakespeare created women with such power and strengths, that were at least equal to those of men. Fortunately in present day society, many women have become more independent to overcome many obstacles and challenges to get to where they need to be
Women now are much more intelligent, powerful, and of course beautiful. Compared to the 18th century where women were described as more like servants towards the husband, they could not say anything or do as they please just like in the story; even in marriage. In this time, women were below men, and this is because men have been given this power of supremacy over their wives once they became husband and wife. After reading this story for the first time, it was very clear right way that during that time women was portrayed as a prisoner to their husbands. However, this should be common knowledge that marriages in all different forms are not always about mutual feelings.