Shakespeare treatment of women. William Shakespeare Essay 2019-01-12

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The Portrayal of Women in Othello

shakespeare treatment of women

He insists that his idea of beautiful femininity doesn't depend on fitting an abstract, unrealistic fantasy. In short, Hamlet throughout the play uses Ophelia as a tool in his revenge plan. Yet her love, a maiden's idolatry, is content without possession; with her, 'Dian' is 'both herself and love' I, iii. I will not stay behind. Without women, his plays would lack the depth and conflict that they need. The families of such women would be ridiculed and sometimes socially as well as financially ruined. Throughout this play, the main character, Hamlet, consistently patronizes and belittles both his mother and his previous lover.

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The Portrayal of Women in Othello

shakespeare treatment of women

This is certainly a convincing argument, for Othello all-too-easily accepts a stereotypical view of his wife based on the authority of a male voice. This article needs attention from an expert in Shakespeare. Or she might finally surrender the pursuit of a husband who had decisively shown he did not love her, as she had already proposed to do when he had only declared that he did not. Proteus's speeches often rhetorical analyses of his situation rather than dramatic expressions of it. When Charmian traditionally suggests that the way to gain and retain Antony's love is to 'In each thing give him way; Cross him in nothing'. Refusing to adhere to the stereotypes of patriarchal society, Cleopatra transforms her natural sexuality into part of her power, rather than as a diminishing of her goodness.

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Hamlet's View and Treatment of Women free essay sample

shakespeare treatment of women

Surprisingly, even Enobarbus, despite his patriarchal views, does on occasions present her as positively sexual, as his unforgettable description of her indicates: Age cannot wither her, Nor custom stale her infinite variety. She is a good daughter and lover trying to do her best to please both her father and the one she loves. Cressida is a symbol of the love which may kindle valour for a moment, but in the end saps heroism and romance at once, and which strikes the magnificent champions of Homeric story themselves with a futility more tragic than death, the futility hinted savagely in the Horatian Troiani cunnus teterrima belli Causa, and superbly in Faustus's great apologue to 'the face that launched the thousand ships. Certainly Desdemona's very much feminised qualities of passivity, softness and obedience are no match for Othello's masculine qualities of dominance, aggression and authority. Therefore, despite her innocence at the end of the play, she succumbs in tragic obedience. This is demonstrated as Iago humiliates Emilia by publically.

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Shakespeare and gender: the ‘woman’s part’

shakespeare treatment of women

But the audacity of the young Shakespeare showed itself in another way. Yet through her death, Shakespeare depicts her as enacting the strength of womanhood by converting death into an image of both sensuality and motherhood. In order to make this comparison, one must first examine the way that the characters of Bianca, Emelia, and Desdemona are treated. Erika Sunnegårdh as Lady Macbeth Beatrice in Much Ado about Nothing is a remarkable play in which Shakespeare intertwines an ancient mythological story with an ultra-modern love story invented by himself. Years back in the 15, 16 century women were more behind than men, the society was male dominating and the main purpose of women was to serve their men.

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Othello

shakespeare treatment of women

Helena's conduct appears, then, to fluctuate, without clear explanation, between resolute pursuit and dignified renunciation. Footnotes The Athenaeum, 17 June 1899. Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet in the 16th century, at a time when the role of the woman was to be subservient to men and act as a wife to their husband and a mother to their children. She comes in more strongly as he wavers and finally he goes ahead with it. If she forms plans for showing her merit and thus commending herself in Bertram's eyes, she takes no step herself; it is the Countess who, having discovered her love, welcomes her prospective daughter-in-law and sends her with all proper convoy to court to 'cure the king. Also I will look at Hamlets madness, whether it was real or not and also whether women could be the cause of it. Women are owned and controlled by men, and feminine traits, particularly emotion are despised.

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The Role of Women in Shakespeare's Time

shakespeare treatment of women

In the riotous consciousness of power he loved to take up the challenge of outrageous situations, to set himself dramaturgical problems, which he solves by compelling us to admit that the impossible might have happened in the way he shows. Other women cloy The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry Where most she satisfies. On 8 December 1660 something remarkable happened. This is because she is the smartest woman character, but nonetheless men still seem to find a way to treat her poorly. Love is a passion, kindling heart, brain, and senses alike in natural and happy proportions; ardent but not sensual, tender but not sentimental, pure but not ascetic, moral but not puritanic, joyous but not frivolous, mirthful and witty but not cynical.

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Shakespeare's Treatment of Love and Marriage

shakespeare treatment of women

Her reaction when she feels herself wronged is in very stark contrast to the reactions of Ophelia and Desdemona. Once the play was over, Frith took up a lute, played, sang and taunted the crowd that many of them were of opinion that she was a man, but if any of them would come to her lodging they should finde that she is a woman. Through the character of Emilia, Shakespeare represents women as victims of the patriarchal society in which they live, mistreated by men who abuse their position of authority. God hath given you one face and you make yourselves another. She is a courtesan in Cyprus. He cannot remain away from Cleopatra and faithful to Octavia who symbolises Caesar and the power of Patriarchal Rome.


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Shakespeare and gender: the ‘woman’s part’

shakespeare treatment of women

Instead, the practice of casting boy actors in female parts meant that the playful exploration of gender was written into these plays from the start. Both Desdemona and Emilia have different views on the concept of chastity. So too, Cleopatra insists on fulfilling a political role against the wishes of the patriarchal men: when Enobarbus attempts to prevent her from doing so she replies in enraged determination: A charge we bear i'th'war, And as the president of my kingdom will Appear there for a man. The adventures of Imogen in disguise are purely pathetic. They are often working-class characters such as the Nurse in , Margaret in or Audrey in As You Like It. But Helena's passion and her sacrifices for the man whose love she seeks ally her also with the Julia type.

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Shakespeare 's Hamlet

shakespeare treatment of women

Roderigo demonstrates the consequences of a lack of self-control when he makes a fool of himself in the council scene. Helena's procedure is less clear. He lived in a violent place where there were many fights between the Capulets and his family. She compares a woman's proper devotion to her husband to that a subject owes a prince, saying that the man provides everything for the woman, and the least she owes him is her complete obedience. Her sexual power over men is conveyed boldly, for example, in her descriptions of her former conquests 'great Pompey' and 'Broad-fronted Caesar'.

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Introducing Shakespeare's Women in His Plays

shakespeare treatment of women

Somewhat thus must the problem have presented itself to Shakespeare. Although I am inclined to agree with McLuskie that as Shakespeare 'wrote for a male entertainment', it is historically incorrect to regard him as a feminist. Their purity is not that of a negative abstinence, but of whole-hearted devotion to the man they love. Ophelia, it would seem, wholly at the mercy of the male figures within her life, is certainly a victim figure. And Cleopatra too, in the 'infinite variety' of her moods, has momentary flickerings of genuine devotion of which she was before incapable. A decision no matter its size, or how thoughtfully it is made, can lead to an outcome that may be small and even life changing. However, when asked, every individual has their own idea of what love is.

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