Traditional Gender Roles In Shakespeare's The Merchant Of Venice

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During the time of the renaissance it was not uncommon to see a male playing the role of a female in theater. However, as time has progressed women have been given more opportunities and rights. It has been seen that women have taken over the roles of not only female but male as well. In popular plays like Hamlet or Julius Caesar, women played the major roles of the opposite gender. This can be seen in not only in Shakespeare 's theater, but in other popular scripts as well. For instance, within the popular children 's movie, Peter Pan there has been a female playing the main role of Peter. Now, Shakespeare has written many outstanding plays, but within his story Merchant of Venice there are multiple illustrations of traditional gender roles seen throughout the play. Portia, for example, is a rich and beautiful heiress within the play. She is bound by her father to find a suter, not of her choosing. She is a symbol for the roles women of her time had to follow but also a rugged individualist who defies parts of what she is meant to do. Portia does this through, acting as a boy in order to argue in court, playing tricks with Narissa on their newlywed husbands, and taking part in her father 's lottery. In shakespeare 's time it was easy for women to turn into men. Putting on the…show more content…
Her actions for instance, dressing as a boy to defend in court, playing a trick on Bassonia, and being forced into her fathers lottery, were actions that made her a “good girl” and a “bad girl” at the same time according to society. Throughout the movie there were constant illustrations of traditional gender roles with not only Portia but all the characters as well. This made every character individual and unique which expressed common ways people would act within shakespeare 's
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