Gender Roles In Greek Theatre

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Ancient plays throughout different cultures in history contained all male cast, failing to even cast women as they were deemed inferior. Tradition held that the culture in western societies restricted women’s roles. Even as female characters were indeed written in certain plays, the role were portrayed by a male. They regarded women being able to portray these roles as dangerous and that having men play them “neutralized” the danger it possessed. The Greek’s and the Roman’s both held these views making it impossible for women to be on stage.
English theater was criticized in its early days, Christianity decrees ensured that theater was practically unheard of for hundreds of years. That all changed when the church itself resurrected theater for its own use in the middle ages. It started Miracle Plays that portrayed stories of the bible. This, however, started theater groups that started portraying their own plays for profit and entertainment. All of these early English plays were solely made, portrayed, played and viewed by males of the era. Women’s role in old England was still reserved, it wasn’t correct for women to be seen in public, it was indecent. This made the idea of a female actor unheard of and impossible for the time. Up to this point
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There is some speculation of women pretending to be men in these times to play female characters as that was the only way they could be on stage. This, however, can’t be proven. The perception in society was that the theater was better suited for men. The roles of women in English drama were all roles conceived by men, because all the ancient playwrights were men. It is a testament to how great theater of the time was that it became so popular with men speaking love soliloquies to each other. The few characters that happened to be women in these early plays lacked strength, personalities,
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