Gender In William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing

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William shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing scrutinizes the use of language, stylistic techniques and conventions to represent 16th century Italy. Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ uses examples such as gender representations, class struggle and courtship and marriage to represent times back in 16th century Italy.

Shakespeare exposes the unfairness of gender in 16th century Italy by having the characters use witty repartee and by creating contrived situations. Gender representation in 16th century Elizabethan time differentiated from how it was interpreted in Much Ado About Nothing. The treatment of women living in 16th century Italy was barbaric. Women were dependent on their fathers and husbands to financially back them. The way
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Back in 16th century times no man could marry a woman without a blessing from the father of the women. Marriage ceremonies were often very public and went on for multiple days. For some men in the 16th century getting married was not always a positive thing. Much Ado About Nothing’s character Benedick goes as far as comparing marriage to being like a bull tied to a yoke and being restrained by marriage and your wife, he quotes “An thou wilt needs thrust thy neck into a yoke” (1.1.157). However, men aren't the only ones that have a negative approach to marriage, Beatrice is one of the few that actually see marriage in a negative way. One of the first examples of deception occurs at the ball when all the men are wearing masks. Shakespeare uses physical deception to bring Benedick and Beatrice closer together and Beatrice starts to show what she really thinks of Benedick. Much Ado About Nothing is bursting with contrived situations an example of this is when Don Pedro, Claudio and Hero arrange a plan to make Beatrice and Benedick fall in love. Don Pedro states “I will in the interim undertake one of Hercules’ labors. I would fain have it a match, if you three will but minister such assistance as i shall give you direction.” (2.1.305). From the examples in the text we can see the way Shakespeare uses deception and contrived situations to represent his critique of 16th century
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