During the period (1887) in which this play was written was ruled by a patriarchal society. The social expectations for women were controlled by men and women’s rights were virtually non-existent. In essence, this provides
Helpless. The characters around Ophelia's life treat her as an infant who can't make any decisions on her own. The men in specific, look at her as a mere puppet. Her father and brother guide her to make the choices they see fit and she follows their advice even if she disagrees with it. Overall Ophelia is dehumanized and characterized as an object that is to be manipulated and taken advantage of to help others achieve their goals. Whose emotions are not taken into consideration. The entirety of Shakespeare’s Hamlet highlights and rejects the sexist treatment of Ophelia and depicts it in a negative light.
The Globe Theater was a very well-known and entertaining theater where many famous plays were shown which were written by many famous writers including Shakespeare.
In Euripides’s The Bacchae and in William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, I found the gender roles in these particular plays to be very interesting because this was my first exposure to cross-dressing in works of literature. In The Bacchae, women play a huge role because women are often portrayed as feminine and inferior in many past works, however, in The Bacchae, the women of Thebes decide to rebel against the men and join the Greek God of grape harvesting, wine, fertility, and partying, in the woods. The women were manipulated by Dionysus and were turned into maenads because they joined Dionysus and rejected the norms for women, to stay in their place and they all went from the first world they were living in, Thebes, to the second world,
Feminism is a strong belief that states both men and women should be equal. Women should have the same rights, the same amount of respect, and the same contribution and acceptance in our society. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Inequality between men and women is still just as relevant today, as it was decades ago. Today, the feminist movement is expanding and empowering women through liberation. Feminism in Macbeth is a different story. In Macbeth, women were portrayed as vulnerable, useless human beings, who were not strong enough to withhold any power or authority in society. Shakespeare wrote in such a way that made it seem as if a woman’s only purpose was to provide and aid men’s needs and wants. Juxtaposed
Shakespeare is often referred to as a man before his time, or even called a feminist. He revered amongst many audience members for his use of the woman in his plays. Others disagree, saying Ole Willy Shakes is a misogynist who hated women. Neither of the extremes is completely accurate, and neither have claims that could be taken very far. Shakespeare lives somewhere between being a feminist and being a misogynist, he uses female character radically; for his time at least. 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. It may seem like Shakespeare treats his female characters worse than his male characters, but it is his female characters that drive the plot
There are two things which need to be discussed, number one... how Shakespeare 's world is different from our world today, and number two how Shakespeare 's world is the same as ours. I will first start with the differences between the two.
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.
In Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’, women are portrayed as either pure angelic beings and jewels, or as whores who are impure. They are objectified and shown as something to be used. The only women in this play are Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca compared to the main 6 male characters, not to mention the minor characters, who are also all male. Their depicted purpose is to belong to a man; Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca’s lives revolve around being wives to Othello, Iago and Cassio. This fits into the idea of a perfect Elizabethan woman, who’s lives are subject to their husband’s rule across all aspects, to be disposed of as men wish. 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
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. Throughout the play we observe Emilia’s character change, and how she suffered the consequence of challenging the system.
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. In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, published in 1601, women play a very special role. First, it should be noted that there are only two women in the room: Gertrude and Ophelia. By developing the role
Feminist theatre came into being as a by product of the experimental theatre movement of the 1970s’ and 1980’. It was an alternate theatre which enabled women to explore their creative talents on stage independently. Feminist theatre served as a means of constructing an exclusive feminist discourse on stage that questioned the patriarchal norms of female subjugation. Its movement was towards the construction of a theatre space where women are no longer mere stage props. They started functioning as the creators of drama rather than being confined to the roles of wife, lover, mother or lunatic. It was a paradigm shift from women being the objects of male gaze to the creation of a self sufficient female gaze, from being objects to being the subject
Gender roles are the roles or behaviors learned by a person as appropriate to their gender, determined by the prevailing cultural norms. Macbeth was written in 1605-1606 which was the renaissance period. In the renaissance period, women were controlled by their parents until they were married, which then the control would be turned over to the husbands. Shakespeare had a way of challenging society 's view on things(“Gender Roles of Women in the Renaissance” cedarcrest.edu). In the play Macbeth, William Shakespeare uses Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to show that gender roles can be conquered.
Macbeth by William Shakespeare and Medea by Euripides are known for their powerful critiques on the social expectations of women. Women during the time of Elizabethan and Greek theatre were often stereotyped and considered the weaker sex. Men were depicted as strong individuals who supported and protected women. However, both Shakespeare and Euripides broke expectations by portraying strong and iconic female characters in their respective plays. The idea of a strong female character was often unheard of during the time of Elizabethan and Greek Theatre. Through the thematic comparison of Macbeth, and Medea; this essay demonstrates how Shakespeare
Each sex has its’ specialty, both sexes must be equal; people in general must be equal. By studying Shakespeare and by going deeper through analyzing and getting preoccupied with, we learn how to “brainstorm” the people, the culture and the ethics of that era and create opinions and thoughts about those centuries. In my opinion, Shakespeare is a modern, a contemporary artist and writer of his era who “sends” and passes messages through his plays. Each one of us, the readers and learners of Shakespeare, creates a special, unique opinion about Shakespeare and literature in general. We do not all think in the same way, people are unique. In my opinion Shakespeare is a great writer, revolutionist for his era, not being afraid to write and express his thoughts, maybe because he had the “advantage” of being a man. We do not know what we would learn today if Shakespeare was a woman. Maybe somebody else would be the Shakespeare of that era, or just somebody of that