A Modern View of Feminist Criticism William Shakespeare 's "Othello” can be analyzed from a feminist perspective.This criticism focuses on relationships between genders, like the patterns of thoughts, behavior, values, enfranchisement, and power in relations between and within sexes. A feminist examination of the play enables us to judge the distinctive social esteems and status of women and proposes that the male-female power connections that become an integral factor in scenes of Othello impact its comprehension. I believe that the critical lens that provides modern society with the most compelling view of literature is Feminist Criticism because it analyzes distrust and disloyalty among relationships, women being treated as possessions
For Shakespeare’s plays to contain enduring ideas, it must illustrate concepts that still remain relevant today, in modern society. Shakespeare utilises his tragic play Othello, to make an important social commentary on the common gender stereotypes. During early modern England, Shakespeare had to comply to the strict social expectations where women were viewed as tools, platonic and mellow, and where men were displayed as masculine, powerful, tempered, violent and manipulative. As distinct as this context is to the 21st century, the play exposes how women were victimised by the men who hold primary power in the community in which they compelled women to conform to the ideal world of a perfect wife or confront an appalling destiny for challenging the system. Moreover, Shakespeare utilises the main antagonist, Iago, to portray how men are desperate to achieve what they want and to indirectly fulfil the stereotype of masculinity and power through manipulation.
Of course not! It clears that although Shakespeare rebelled against gender roles of his time, he still believes that women/men should have moral intentions. With the character Lady Macbeth, we get a taste of what inhuman values, attitude and believes look like, and eventually what this lifestyle can lead to. (Hint: it is not good)
Patriarchy presents the roles of men and women in a distinct form. Men are expected to be the dominant leader, strong, protector and sole provider where as women are subverted to the role of domestic duties, raring of children and fulfilling her man’s every desire without question or comment. In Lynn Nottage’s play Poof!, she brilliantly portrays the roles of men and women, and experiments with the concept of changing gender roles that are characteristic of our society. Overtime, the patriarchal system has been challenged and the defined gender roles are in the process of being eradicated. By presenting the plays protagonist Loureen, as an abuse victim that finds her voice and stands up against her battery, Lynn brilliantly illustrates that
No male during this time would have suspected anything similar to this of their wife, but the fact that Shakespeare even wrote about it hints to readers that Shakespeare may have believed in equality for women. Emilia also stood up for what she believed in and laid down her life doing so. After finding out her husband, Iago, was the one who had plotted the demise of so many around her, Emilia declared “Tis proper I obey him, but not right now” (5.2.233). Emilia knew she was expected to obey her husband, yet she was willing to lay down her life to alert others of the atrocious acts that her husband had committed. Not only did Emilia speak out against her husband, but was willing to lose her life in the process.
Furthermore, Lady Macbeth has power comparable to man’s but is then cast aside by her husband at the end. Shakespeare thus presents masculinity in both a positive and negative light. In Act 1, Shakespeare presents Macbeth with admired masculine qualities countered with Lady Macbeth criticising his idiosyncrasies. Lady Macbeth’s definition of a man is disparate to others’. In Scene 2, the captain labels Macbeth as “brave”.
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.
Rosalind used her masculinity to manipulate Orlando. Rosalind wasn’t the only character that seemed to act outside of their roles that were deemed by society. Orland’s character was submissive, submission is associated with a more feminine trait. Shakespeare assigned traditional gender roles of the Renaissance period to opposite sexes in the play. It’s important to understand the concept of men and women and their roles during the Renaissance period to fully
Ibsen believed that in marriage the husband and wife should be seen as equals, and should be free to become who they want. Many plays written by Ibsen comment and critique the social issues of relationships and how women have been degraded for centuries . A Doll’s house is a 19th Century critique and social commentary on marriage and the role of women within marriage. Throughout the play Ibsen intends to craft two stereotypical characters: the patriarchal husband and the suppressed wife. He manages enforce this throughout the use of imagery and characterisation.
3.1. Introduction As it was stated earlier, one of the key terms in the present thesis is female grotesque. The researcher tends to see how the plays, Cleansed, Phaedra and Blasted, can be read in this respect. The point is that the narratives within these plays try to penetrate gender and sexual identities through the violence. This violence is not related to any gendered or sexual identity, whether male or female, it seems that Kane wants to put an end to these norms.