Women In The Merchant Of Venice

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Role of women in The Merchant of Venice Women during 16th century had no individual freedom. Despite the fact that a single woman ruled England at the time of Shakespeare, the Elizabethan society was patriarchal. Women were considered the weaker gender and always in need of being protected. Wealthy woman were highly educated but they had no right to have professions while poor women sometimes would turn to prostitution or become servants to survive. The book The Merchant of Venice was settled in Venice because Shakespeare wanted to show that even in the foundation place of Renaissance were prejudicial ideas and woman was considered as a weak character. Did Shakespeare believe that women were weak or did he believed that they were equally…show more content…
It is rare to see woman from this time to be portrayed this way because they were not thought of this way. “They shall think we are accomplished with that we lack” - Portia (3.4.) It was expected back then that only men had the capacity to handle such jobs as lawyers so Portia had no choice but to disguise herself as a man to become a lawyer. Society during that time, believed that women weren’t intelligent enough to take on such roles. Women in the Merchant of Venice go against their gender roles. Men did not think that women could ever be as smart as they were, and did not listen or take advice from women that is why Portia had to dress up as a man just to get the men to listen to her and Antonio was saved just because of her intelligence. Here is revealed the idea of love that women can do everything to see their husbands…show more content…
While men were portrayed as strong, brave and independent. Shakespeare was one of the few authors who challenged this stereotype. In Merchant of Venice he showed Portia as a submissive lady who had to follow her father’s will. Near the end of the play, however, she turned out to be a very strong, intelligent and independent lady. Men were shown as dominant at first , however, their roles were switched at the end when they seemed helpless and hopeless and they were saved by two women. Shakespeare was one of the few authors who believed in the force of
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