Much Ado About Nothing Feminist Analysis

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Equal treatment of the sexes is a cause many have been fighting for, for decades, and in this case, centuries. Slight rebellious acts of women bending gender norms can be seen as far back as Shakespearean plays, in particular, Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing. Olivia from Twelfth Night, and Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing showcase characteristics of being opinionated, assertive, and strong-willed; qualities that were rarely seen during that time period. Much Ado About Nothing was written around 1598 and Twelfth Night was written around 1601, which was the Elizabethan era. During the Elizabethan era, women were raised to think that they were inferior to men. The church also believed this notion and would quote Genesis: "...thy…show more content…
Hero, Beatrice’s cousin appears as a foil to Beatrice. Hero is sweet, naive, gentle and is willing to do whatever the people in her life command. She does not initiate anything on her own or make decisions. Beatrice is known for being outspoken and for her sharp-witted and comical remarks she makes towards Benedick. The two have been in a "merry war" and have refused to marry. Hero, nevertheless, falls in love with Claudio the first time she laid eyes on him and was ready to tie the knot, as that was the expected thing to…show more content…
Would it not grieve a woman to be overmastered with a piece of valiant dust? To make an account of her life to a clod of wayward marl? No, uncle, I’ll none. Adam’s sons are my brethren, and truly I hold it a sin to match in my kindred.” (Shakespeare, “Much Ado” Act 2, Scene 1). Beatrice not only stands out as a character in Much Ado but in all of Shakespeare's plays because she is unrestricted by the expectation of her gender, especially, considering the time period.
During the Elizabethan Era, Queen Elizabeth, also known as The Virgin Queen, was not married. Her reasons to remain spouseless are unclear, but if she were to marry, there could have been an instability in politics, she would have to share her throne and conform to obeying her husband. Conceivably, Olivia and Beatrice's refusal to marriage was a reflection of the Queen's actions. It can be hypothesised that Shakespeare was testing the waters to break gender norms and perceiving women as independent, dominant and powerful beings through his
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