Women During The Elizabethan Era Essay

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During the sixteenth century era, there was a high superiority complex among men and women. The difference between women in the sixteenth century and the twenty first century is massive. Women back then were mere belongings of men and had no individual power or freedom. The picture has changed a lot since then in terms of women and their socio-economic and political rights. The olden mentality of inferiority of women was largely present during this era. A woman’s opportunity for getting an education, a professional status or owning property was highly restricted. They were not allowed to vote, and the few legal rights which they did enjoy were kept to a bare minimum. Women were prohibited from learning the arts and sciences and although some of the richer class women had the potential to do so, they were…show more content…
In brief, women were obedient possessions of their husbands and if they were opinionated or outspoken, they were unwanted and looked down on. Women were always told what to do and what to say by a man and could never express their thoughts and emotions, irrespective of the class they belonged to.
How Shakespearean women defy their stereotype
The stereotypical women during the Elizabethan era were mere possessions of their husbands, and had no rights, whatsoever. During this period, the ruler Queen Elizabeth I, thwarted the norms and ruled over England without getting married as she did not want to lose her dignity to a man. The women in the Merchant of Venice, one among Shakespeare’s most celebrated plays, like Queen Elizabeth I, defy the odds and show the real capability of a woman.
A shining example of such a woman is Portia, the heroine of the play. She was a rich lady who had inherited her father’s fortune and will upon his death. Although women from the sixteenth century were not allowed to own property, Portia had inherited a large estate from her father, which left her incredibly
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