Of course not! It clears that although Shakespeare rebelled against gender roles of his time, he still believes that women/men should have moral intentions. With the character Lady Macbeth, we get a taste of what inhuman values, attitude and believes look like, and eventually what this lifestyle can lead to. (Hint: it is not good)
Shakespeare’s Macbeth has had a significant relevance throughout modern contemporary society. Macbeth is still relevant to today’s audiences moderately due to human nature being similar to that of the Elizabethan, Jacobean era. The play’s themes still relate to modern society for example: guilt, anxiety, hierarchy, ambition, power and gender. Over time Disney films have become well known for the concept of Gender roles both male and female, the female being the weaker sex. Disney princesses have usually been shown through a traditional fairy tale concept, the damsel-in-distress in need of help and to be back but in line.
Although they view each other as equals, "my dearest partner of greatness," it's Lady Macbeth who is established as the dominant partner in the dynamic, inverting typical 17th century gender and social roles. (Since husbands were supposed to rule their wives in the same way that kings ruled countries, Lady Macbeth's plan is just another version of treason: taking power that doesn't belong to her.) Upon reading the letter, she worries that Macbeth is too kind-natured to be able to take the crown and is determined to assist him through the, "valour of her (my) tongue." She emasculates Macbeth and challenges his bravery, which to him is the essence of a being a man, "coward." Compelling her husband by giving him an ultimatum, be a coward or kill the king.
Therefore, William Shakespeare shows how the feminist perspective is not the best lens to view modern literature in his play “Othello”, when Shakespeare shared through Othello in Act 3 when he speaks to Iago that “The man whose wife has been unfaithful lives happily as long as he does not love his wife” (Shakespeare, 127). Likewise, this quote shows how the feminist perspective might not show us how women were treated in the 1600s; this scene explains how men were not expected to love their wife and not expected to care. He is allowed to be happy as long as he didn’t love his wife. This is absorbing because we can see in modern days that men expect women to love them even if they don’t. Lastly, women then and now are expected to love their husbands even if they aren’t being treated right whereas men don’t need to love their wife if they don’t want
Gender roles are constructed by society and attributed to women or men. In the book of vindication of the right of a woman, Wollstonecraft brings out clearly the roles of a woman in her society and how it has led to oppression of women (Wollstonecraft 22). Wollstonecraft believes that men and women are equal given the same environment and empowerment, women can do anything a man can do. In her society, education for women is only aimed at making her look pleasing to men. Women are treated as inferior being and used by men as sex objects.
Furthermore, Feminist Criticism provides a better view of literature because it shows that women can be powerful. When Emilia finds out that her husband has been plotting an evil plan she says,” Tis proper I obey him, but not now”(Othello V.2.195). Emilia refuses to help her husband after she finds the cruel intentions he has despite the expectation of women always being submissive to their husbands. Women also have a voice and feelings, they are capable of defying their husbands commands when they know what he expects is simply wrong. In a literary article,The Role of Women in Othello: A Feminist Reading states that,” Society weighs heavily on the shoulders of women; they feel that they must support the men and defer to them, even if the actions of the men are questionable” (Literary Articles).
For Shakespeare’s plays to contain enduring ideas, it must illustrate concepts that still remain relevant today, in modern society. Shakespeare utilises his tragic play Othello, to make an important social commentary on the common gender stereotypes. During early modern England, Shakespeare had to comply to the strict social expectations where women were viewed as tools, platonic and mellow, and where men were displayed as masculine, powerful, tempered, violent and manipulative. As distinct as this context is to the 21st century, the play exposes how women were victimised by the men who hold primary power in the community in which they compelled women to conform to the ideal world of a perfect wife or confront an appalling destiny for challenging the system. Moreover, Shakespeare utilises the main antagonist, Iago, to portray how men are desperate to achieve what they want and to indirectly fulfil the stereotype of masculinity and power through manipulation.
The friar should be pardoned because he told Romeo to take it slow and he says that he will marry them because it might end the feud. The nurse should be punished because she helped the two people who were not supposed to be together stay together. She also knew about them and did not tell anybody. Old Capulet should be punished because he forced Juliet to marry Paris and threatened to disown her. This put a lot of pressure on Juliet to find a way to not marry Paris.
Shakespeare portrays women 's ranking in relation to men by illustrating Hero’s great sacrifice, and how her closest mentors refuse to help support her. Hero has little power to fall back on in this situation, explaining the classic image that Shakespeare created for her to resemble. Through these scenes in Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare effectively conveys the power women had throughout this time period by addressing Hero sacrificing her virtue. He communicates the idea of women standing up for their beliefs, shifting away from the formal rules that society
Later on in the play, Romeo and Juliet are talking about their relationship, and what they would have to do to get married. Juliet says this to Romeo, “Deny thy father and refuse thy name / Or, if thou wilt not, but sworn my love / And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.” Juliet is saying that Romeo would need to give up his Montague name for her to be able to marry him. This quote shows the power of the feud that the parents have put them in. The young lovers can’t get married because of their parent’s rivalry, and this sets up many of their problems created by their parents. The next reason that Romeo and Juliet’s parents are responsible for their death is that the Capulet’s threw an enormous party, and let Romeo in.
Social concerns undergo metamorphosis in their portrayal, according to the composers various contextual influences. ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ was a play written by Shakespeare in the Elizabethan era where men were considered to be superior to women. This patriarchal society heavily influenced Shakespeare’s play, as it reflected the traditional values of the Elizabethan era. In contrast, the 20th century had drastically changed, with the first and second waves of feminism, which helped to remove inequalities and gender expectations. However Junger, the director of ‘10 Thing I Hate About You’ has kept the basis of the film based on Shakespeare’s play.
Lady Macbeth in the beginning of the play is manipulative, most of the times she manipulates her husband into doing either what she wants or what she thinks he should do. For example, when Macbeth does not want to kill Duncan anymore, Lady Macbeth convinces him by saying “from this time such I account thy love. Art thou afeared to be the same in thine own act and valor as thou art in desire? (I.vii line 38-41). Besides, the audience see Lady Macbeths is influencing her husband’s feelings by she is using her love as a weapon because she is saying do it or I will not love you.
William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” was a play about romance, misunderstanding and happiness. A modern audience would view this play in a different way to an audience in Shakespeare’s time, particularly in relation to the role and status of women and attitudes towards courtship and marriage. Two of the main ideas in the play include the fact that women’s voices aren’t heard and the role of the father in the relationships of their daughters are two topics that will be covered. As a 21st century viewer of this play seeing the treatment of women, and how their voices and opinions aren’t always taken into account, I believe that this sort of treatment wasn’t the right thing to do. An example of this from the play is when Claudio accuses Hero of ‘Sleeping Around’ and when she objected and tried to state her innocence, her voice and opinion on the topic wasn’t even listened to.
In Act 3 Scene 1, Beatrice is overwhelmed with the thought of people judging her proud and scornful ways. Beatrice addresses this revolution by agreeing to leave her past self behind and seal this newfound affection with Benedick. Beatrice’s view of rejecting a man who will rule her with an iron fist is quite independent. In this case, Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing suggests Beatrice was once in love with Benedick, but his title of lord and soldier of Padua negatively effected their relationship. In addition, Beatrice’s previous relationship with Benedick, as suggested by the play, developed this harsh semblance.