During the setting and the publication of Pygmalion in 1912, sexism was slowly in decline; however, just the idea of sexism existing in the first place was what prompted Shaw to criticize all of society in his play Pygmalion. And it is quite clear that he was calling “attention to questions of femininity and gender” because of how “the title of Shaw’s play is taken from the myth of Pygmalion” (LitChart Sited). Similarly, in both the play and the myth, the protagonist is seen creating their own “perfect” ideas of what a woman is and how a woman should act (LitChart). In Shaw’s doing so of this, he is trying to show society how “unrealistic and even unnatural the expectations that society has for women are” (LitCharts). Additionally, society’s expectations are mirrored by Higgins’s expectations of what the ideal woman should be like, which is quite disturbing considering Higgins is anti-feminist.
Indeed, this study seeks to demystify the male-centric mindset to promote the visibility of women in the contemporary interpretation of literary works demonstrating that women play a greater role in the literature despite the proximity given to male protagonist. There are significant women who play integral parts in Beowulf. This study gives attention to Hildeburh as a woman of value. In fact, her values are not only limited to the explicates in the piece of literature, but can be related to the Anglo-Saxon society at
Given the invisible roles in society, seditious women stand shrill in distinction to their obedient sisters. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia is the personification of femininity. She obeys with the system that shields her and flourishes within its walls. In opposition, Gertrude stands in a hitting difference to Ophelia. She is adversative to these “standards” of femininity.
One major way was how femininity was portrayed through literature during these time periods. During the Anglo-Norman period, we can analyze works such as, Marie de France’s, Lanval, to see that feminine power was not only accepted but put on a sort of on a pedestal. Women were controlling men through their seductive manners, and men were going with it. However, taking a turn into the Medieval period we see works such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. We see how in the beginning femininity is all powerful, but by the end, feminine power is something to be shameful about.
This continued from the Renaissance all the way up to the Age of Enlightenment, after which the attitude toward women began to improve. Literature played an important role in this and the first signs of feminism was seen through the writings of prolific women such as Mary Wollstonecraft. John Milton’s works indicated a lot regarding his thoughts on women. However, years have passed and scholars still argue about his true proclivities towards the female gender. Some indict him on an unabashed charge of misogyny while some feel that he is a closet feminist, endeavouring to elevate the position of women through his what he writes.
Faustus’ Inferno; Mephastophilis’ Influence on Faustus and his Damnation Measuring power and authority solely through titles like ‘master’ and ‘slave’ can be troublesome and superficial. In the play The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe, the character Dr. John Faustus sells his soul to the devil in return for the conditions he specified in a contract. One of these conditions is that the demon Mephastophilis will be his servant. Therefore, it could be argued that Faustus is more powerful than Mephastophilis. However, throughout the play the contrary is proven.
Although God was not present physically, he always sent to his angel. The angel of Faustus tries to change the decisions that Faustus was taking, but his ignores him. In The Tragical Story of Doctor Faustus says, “O Faustus, lay that damnèd book aside, and gaze not on it, lest it temp thy head: Read, read the Scriptures; that is blasphemy” (p.1131). This means that his angel appears too many times, and speaks clearly to Faustus to please ignore the devil, but Faustus ignores his angel, and by this he ignores to God. According to Plutarch, an ancient philosopher, said, "The wicked do not need the punishment of God or man, because his corrupt and tormented life is a continuous punishment for them.” This phrase shows how although in some part of the life of Faustus he has everything, at the end he lost everything.
In fact, when Hermia wants to marry for love, Egeus informs her that she must obey him and marry Demetrius or choose between becoming and nun and being killed. (I.i.69-75). By connecting his play to society and expectations in Modern England Shakespeare also incorporates gender roles of women throughout A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Shakespeare demonstrates the gender roles of woman in his character Hermia. This is because he uses her to both display the roles of woman and how Hermia simultaneously opposes and displays the expectations at the time.
God not only wants Faust to continually seek to satisfy his wants, but he allows Mephistopheles to grant any and every wish that Faust has in order to get Faust to speak the words, “Tarry a while, you are so fair.” The plot of the novel is based in Faust’s continual pursuit of his desires, which is how he serves the Lord. The devil himself mentions that he always struggles to do bad, but ultimately does good. Seeing as how God wants Faust to pursue his passions, this cannot be seen as negative, but purely
Misogyny The portrayal of women changes each year as female rights continues to expand and develop until one day females across the world can achieve the same rights as males. In the tragic play, King Lear written by William Shakespeare, Shakespeare challenges the long established portrayal of women by giving them the power of authority, despite later reverting back to the traditional gender roles by suggesting that the females in this play who are given the power of authority are bound to fail. The old king of Britain, King Lear, has three daughters who are all not considered to be part of stereotypical Elizabethan women as they all have the power of authority in different manners. They are all strong-minded, politically powerful and voice