Hamlet: The Tragedy of Female Oppression Feminism has erupted over the past century. The theme of patriarchy has ruled over women for centuries. With the uprising of the critique of patriarchy, more feminists have analyzed Shakespeare’s literary works as in favor of the male gender roles. In Act 1 scene 3, the station of Polonius and Laertes reveals their patriarchal position over Ophelia by constructing advices that molds their expectations of her and degrading her in ways that exemplify the oppression of women during the 1600’s.
John Knox, the Protestant leader back in the 16th Century, wrote: "Women in her greatest perfection was made to serve and obey man" This was the philosophy for women in the Elizabethan Era women and many were taught that they were inferior to men. This is highlighted in Shakespeare 's play, Taming of the Shrew. In current society, the 1999 romantic-comedy drama, 10 things I hate about you, is a retelling of Taming of the Shrew with a modern twist. Shakespeares Taming of the Shrew tells the story of a lady who refuses to conform to her society 's ways. In comparison to 10 thing I hate about you the director, Gil Junger, is portraying Kat as a young girl who love feminist prose, and hates conformity.
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.
As Isabel Allende said “A man does what he can; a woman does what a man cannot.” In previous societies, the thought of a woman acquiring power is considered as a joke. Women are viewed as innocent caregivers serving for the needs of a man. William Shakespeare wrote a controversial play involving a strong woman role.
Such an act would go against God himself, and so the linking of evil spirits present her to be unwomanly and almost witch-like. Gender roles were set during Shakespeare 's time. Women were considered emotional, nurturing, and fragile where men were considered stoic, strong, and masculine. Lady Macbeth laments her gender while she hatches her plan to kill King Duncan: "Come to my woman 's breasts, And take my milk for gall…" The language suggests that her womanhood, represented by “breasts” and “milk”, usually symbols of nurture, impedes her from performing acts of violence and cruelty, which she associates with manliness.
Throughout Act 2, Scenes 1 and 2 of Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, the dynamic female character, Juliet, defies patriarchy. While Juliet was talking to Romeo, she asked him, “Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say “Ay” And I will take thy word. Yet, if thou swear’st, Thou mayst prove false” (Act 2 Scene 2 Lines 90-93).
Shakespeare uses masculinity as a goal for men to reach. Throughout the play, men’s actions are done to prove their “masculinity” . For instance, Macbeth is expected by
How are women presented in Macbeth & Of Mice & Men? Shakespeare and Steinbeck present their female characters in a misogynistic light. To compare the respective pieces we must consider several factors, which acted as a driving force towards the portrayal of the female characters in their respective texts. Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth as a character who steers away from the stereotypical characteristics of women derived by the societal norms of an Elizabethan society. These three characteristics include: being a faithful and practicing Christian, being submissive to one’s husband, and a good caretaker.
Shakespeare encourages the audience to question this male ideal requiring unadulterated masculinity by making Gertrude and Claudius disagree on the merit of Hamlet’s femininity. Gertrude positively describes him, calling him ‘As patient as the female dove,’ while Claudius ‘despises his ‘unmanly grief’’ (Howard, 2007, 18). Hamlet’s femininity is hated by Claudius, a lying murderer, and not by Gertrude, one of the play’s most sympathetic characters (even the ghost of King Hamlet requests that Hamlet have mercy on her: ‘O, step between her and her fighting soul’). The audience is left to wonder if they agree with antagonist Claudius’s traditional views, or the more likeable Gertrude.
In Act two of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, honor and heroism plays a big role. Obviously because Shakespeare was writing in the Elizabethan era, a time where there were different ideas about what honor was and how it plays into the lives of royalty. In this act there’s a bit less of traditional “heroic” action (like, jousting and saving maidens in distress or something) and a lot of talk that could be less than heroic and honorable (hello medieval espionage!). In most classical traditions, Hamlet would occupy the role of the hero.