William Shakespeare takes an unconventional turn on gender roles in “The Tragedy of Macbeth”. It has been a historical and social trend for society to be predominantly ruled by males. In addition, females are expected to be subservient and responsive to all of her husband’s needs and are viewed as weak and feeble. This trend is seen at the beginning of the play. Ultimately, the play seeks and attempts to define what it means to be considered masculine and feminine in society’s standards.
She has disturbed, horrified and intrigued both contemporary and modern audiences alike through her powerful diction. This study will focus on the way in which Shakespeare crafts his play and uses dramatic devices in his portrayal of Lady Macbeth in order to confront the gender stereotypes of the time, femininity and the natural order of society. During the early 17th century there was a substantial fear that if women were liberated from their domestic, maternal roles, the historically patriarchal society would unravel. With prevailing challenges of gender such as “When you durst do it, then you were a man” Shakespeare uses the character of Lady Macbeth to transgress the natural limits concomitant with her sex. In order to be able to answer the research question, it is vital to concretely establish the contemporary gender roles and the context of the play.
In today’s world, gender expectations and roles of men and women are a highly debated topic. However, the reconsidering of these expectations is not a new phenomenon. Set in Verona, Italy, the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare explores the reversal and fluidity of characteristics usually assigned to a specific gender. In this play, two young people fall in love and end up tragically taking their lives as a result of their forbidden love. Shakespeare suggests that men are not necessarily masculine, women are not necessarily feminine, and that when people are forced by society to act the way their gender is “supposed” to, problems will arise.
In the play, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth relationship was very complex. Macbeth struggles with putting up with Lady Macbeth, making it seem like the woman in the relationship is superior to the man. In the text, it talked about how Lady Macbeth says “unsex me here” (Thomas 84) to have the feminized traits of pity and sympathy and bodily signs of motherhood removed to give her the power of a man to take over in the relationship. This shows that men are superior to women when it comes to the relationship. More evidence of this is when Lady Macbeth said: “ Had he not resembled my father as he slept, I would have done it” (Mac.
Introduction . This paper focuses to answer a few questions raised about misogyny which is visible in the work of William Shakespeare through his characters. I have taken into consideration Hamlet, Taming of the Shrew and Othello as the main examples to try and point out at some evidences. To find out some of the reasons why misogyny was used in Shakespeare’s works we should study a little about the time it was written around which was the Elizabethan age and the Jacobean age. Firstly, it 's critical to understand that, on the off chance that we believe Shakespeare 's plays are sexist, then they are just so in as much as an extensive extent of the world was sexist amid that period.
Extending off of that point, Shakespeare wrote his plays in an era where women had been stereotyped as less intelligent and rational, therefore labelled as the weaker sex. This point is evident when Ross is explaining to Macduff the negative impact Macbeth’s rule on Scotland would be. Ross says, “...your eye in Scotland / Would create soldiers, make our women fight, / To doff their dire distresses” (4.3.CITE). In this era, Shakespeare took advantage of his scholarly, prominent writing to include stereotypes that existed at the time. Additionally, in Harold Bloom’s book, Macbeth, which outlines major themes within the play in academic form, he mentions, “At the same time that the tyrant’s uxoriousness is thus introduced, it is complicated by the play’s confusion of masculinity and femininity, which allows gender to be manipulated in political rhetoric” (Bloom,
According to the time period being examined, men and women are held hostage to social expectations set for that time, and this is prevalent within the play of Romeo and Juliet. Written by William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet is a play of unexpected love, yet there are certain expectations for men and women that are hindrances to the characters. Men and women in this play are constricted to living a certain lifestyle due to many factors such as their gender and status. The characters actions are greatly affected by their social expectations, and this iron-grip on their personality drives a few characters to regretful decisions. In the play Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare reveals the social expectations for men and women in the play, and from there he describes characters whose actions and emotions have been greatly
Gender in Act III of Hamlet is something that’s super dependent on the time period, along with the traditional roles the characters play. Hamlet is set roughly around Shakespeare’s time, which was certainly a time before terms like “feminism” “equal rights” or “gender roles” were even thought of. However, in Hamlet, that’s not such a problem because women like Ophelia and Gertrude have a lot on their plate, whereas male characters like Hamlet, Claudius, and Polonius are also dealing with...well, a lot of issues too. Gender still plays a role in Act 3 however, with male characters like Polonius and Hamlet trying to make the best of power dynamics to control Ophelia and Gertrude. At the beginning of Act 3 Scene 1, Gertrude and Claudius receive Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
At that time in history, the status quo and social norm was simple. Patriarchy was the predominant force as men were regarded as superior to women, both in society as well as the relationship scene. Shakespeare attempted to change this perception through his multiple works of literature. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare uses the theme of gender roles to express the idea that the status quo and social norm in the Elizabethan era can be challenged through courtship, father-daughter relationships, and wedlock. The play commences with the courtship of multiple individuals.
The human psyche seeks to find common ground amongst peers, and, as part of this herd mentality, an early distinction was created to separate men and women. As with any distinct groups, certain traits come to define members, based on their traits and ideals: this reality creates the mental interpretation of gender identity. Although some nowadays would assert that gender identity has never been a bigger issue, Shakespeare uses Hamlet to thoroughly investigate the topic, draw his own conclusions, and share these conclusions with his audience hundreds of years ago. The struggles each character faces paint Shakespeare’s thoughts on the role of gender identity in everyday life. Men in the play, including Hamlet, Claudius, Polonius, Laertes, and
William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” was a play about romance, misunderstanding and happiness. A modern audience would view this play in a different way to an audience in Shakespeare’s time, particularly in relation to the role and status of women and attitudes towards courtship and marriage. Two of the main ideas in the play include the fact that women’s voices aren’t heard and the role of the father in the relationships of their daughters are two topics that will be covered. As a 21st century viewer of this play seeing the treatment of women, and how their voices and opinions aren’t always taken into account, I believe that this sort of treatment wasn’t the right thing to do. An example of this from the play is when Claudio accuses Hero of ‘Sleeping Around’ and when she objected and tried to state her innocence, her voice and opinion on the topic wasn’t even listened to.
Shakespeare is known for introducing new concepts and opinions, especially about social classes, into his plays and for that he was considered ahead of his time. In The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare disputes roles in the social classes during the Renaissance Era. His portrayal of characters throughout the play revealed the stereotypes that were created by society. Shakespeare voiced his opinions about these social classes in the Renaissance Era because he didn’t agree with the power and gender roles. Throughout the play, the role of power is evident in society and in Katherine and Petruchio’s marriage.
In consonance with his books he blended his beliefs, as clarified in the article “An analysis of Shakespeare 's Women” by Nicole Smith, it states that, “Nevertheless, the careful reader notices a curious trend in many of Shakespeare’s plays: many of Shakespeare’s female characters exercise a rather great deal of subtle forms of power and influence, and often do so in unusual and even subversive ways that challenge traditional gender roles. Although the male characters generally fail to notice or refuse to acknowledge women’s authority and influence openly, they are affected by it.” It was not only in a few of Shakespeare’s plays that women portrayed men’s characteristics and men showed some of women 's characteristics it was in almost all of them. To go even deeper Jenna Thomas the author of the article “Romeo and Juliet: An Exploration on gender roles” she alleges in her article that, “However, Romeo challenges this idea of masculinity and is portrayed with more feminine and submissive traits. He speaks with a poetic melancholy contrary to that of the other men: ‘Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs, / Being purg’d, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes.’” Romeo in a sense was a very feminine, but still filled the role of a strong and romantic man. Shakespeare very carefully crafted Romeo with his words and by doing this he pushed and tested the gender roles of his