Adriana And Luciana Character Analysis

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As one begins to read this passage, the first aspect that jumps out is the representation of the two main women in the play, Adriana and Luciana. With the first line of the scene, we are able to gain an understanding of both who Adriana is as a person, as well as some of the more personal issues she may be experiencing within her marriage to Antipholus of Ephesus (2.1.1-3). The tone of her voice is not necessarily that of anger, but rather one that is both worried and hurt by the perceived adulterous acts committed by her husband. Shakespeare’s language here was intentional as he desired to portray women in a more realistic manner. In other plays of the period, women were given limited roles and were depicted as very two-dimensional. Here,…show more content…
As we move through the passage, we see Adriana shift her emotions of depression away from her husband and towards her naïve sister. Adriana becomes so enraged with her sister’s comments, that she refers to Luciana’s mentality as “servant like” (2.1.26). Since servants were treated as the lowest members of society, it is clear that Adriana feels as though Luciana is making a fool out of herself. Shakespeare portrays Luciana in a manner that would suggest that she is an expert on marriage, which is contradictory in itself as Luciana is not yet married. Her tone, while initially understanding and compassionate, quickly turns into one of arrogance and righteousness. On line eleven, Luciana informs her sister that men have more freedom than women because “their business still lies out o’door,” essentially preaching the importance of a woman’s place in the household. Over the next few lines, we see Adriana and Luciana go back and forth with simple sentences, free of any complex language, about how women should act in the presence of their husbands (2.1.10-14). Instead of allowing one character to give an extended monologue, Shakespeare wants the audience to understand the level of tension that exists between the two sisters. The constant flow of insults and…show more content…
Women of this time period were expected to be obedient and chaste within their marriage, but it appears as though Luciana has taken this expectation beyond its actual intent. She states that she remains unmarried “because of what happens in the marriage bed,” which serves as a direct reference to sex and as a metaphor for the other controversial aspects of marriage (2.1.27). Not only does she desire to remain a virgin after and during marriage, but she is also troubled by some of the problems associated with marriage, like adultery. Here, Shakespeare is alerting the audience to the fatal flaw of hypocrisy that exists within many of us. In our own lives, we are often too quick to judge others and tell them how they should live, despite our limited knowledge on the intricacies of their situation. In this instance, Luciana has never been married, yet she feels the need to impose herself on her sister’s marriage. She has never had to worry about her husband spending the night with another

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