During this time, women were treated as inferior being who were meant to tend to the house and tend to children. During this time, a centuries-long debate known as the Querreles des Femmes was occurring in which men argued that women were not capable of higher thinking because their skulls were smaller.
Despite the power of Elisabeth I, women during this time had very little authority, autonomy, or recognition. Women gained their status based on the position of either their father or their husband.
Even more restricting than economic rights were the social and political rights of women. They were expected to be silent observers, submissive to their husbands.
Women who attempted to assert their views were seen as a threat to social order. This is significant in that the maintenance of social order was an extremely important aspect of Elizabethan society.
Shakespeare is highly sensitive to his target audience in every step of the writing process. He actively plays upon the beliefs and fears of the Elizabethans. With characters such as Goneril and Cleopatra, Shakespeare demonstrates the devastating effects of female rebellion against social order.
Shakespeare invokes sympathy in the audience by creating characters of extreme feminine virtue such as Cordelia, Miranda. However, Shakespeare often creates ambiguous emotions in the audience by introducing an element of intelligence and boldness in the case of Isabella and Desdemona.
Despite the relative insignificance of women in Elisabethan social order, Shakespeare uses them in many significant ways. He seems to be extremely sensitive to the importance of women in society even though they are often overlooked. The idea that men are often a product of the women in their lives is indirectly suggested in the significant impact women have on men in the plays.
Although having little respect in the social order of Elisabethan society, Shakespeare recognises women as a real and significant part of society. Therefore, both the comedies and the tragedies bear the mark of women, one way or another.
In Shakespeare, women do not constitute main characters and yet, they play main parts, meaning that beside every strong male character, there is a woman. For instance, the tragedy of Othello is unlike many other Shakespearean plays, in that the leading female characters are wiser and more rational than the main male characters.
Throughout the play, quite often the women are the ones who offer reason to the chaotic world led by men. Iago, with his devilish plans and Othello, with his uncontrollable jealousy represent the evil in the play while the women reflect the goodness and sanity. Desdemona is the prototype of womanhood .
She is very charming, symbolising the woman ready to face the unknown of marriage being lured into the mystery that surrounds her husband.
Very beautiful and tender, she is a true gentle woman, but becomes the naive victim in this tragedy. She falls in love with a man who is older, poorer, and uglier than she is. She pities him because of his tragic life and respects him for his endurance for pain. The Duke, like all of the characters in the play, respects Desdemona and her wishes and allows her to leave with Othello.
Every person, both male and female, respects and praises Desdemona. Desdemona is a loyal spouse who will do absolutely anything for her husband. Even when he is falsely accusing her of adultery and sin, Desdemona defends Othello.
Desdemona does not blame him; she tries to understand what has upset him. She is an unselfish victim who defends her husband to the very end of her life.
Even when Othello kills her in a jealous rage, Desdemona does not want her husband to be responsible for her death. Her death does not destroy either the ideal of the ideal marriage, or that of love, but only that of the impulsive and hazardous marriage.
Another important female character in Othello is Emilia. Like Desdemona, she is a brave and respectable character.The History of the Globe Theater. History of Elizabethan London Theaters - including the Globe Theatre The first proper theater as we know it was called Theatre, built at Shoreditch, London in and the owner was James Burbage.
The primary roles of women in the time of William Shakespeare (–) were to marry and have children. Primary roles aside, privileges permitted to women depended largely on where in Europe they lived and whether they were wealthy or not. A large part of William Shakespeare's life occurred.
Literary and historical scholars affirm that women did not enjoy political, economic, or social parity with men during Shakespeare’s time and this historical reality is important to keep in mind when analyzing the variety of female characters in the plays of Shakespeare.
Role of Women Two main characters i. e. Lady Macbeth and Portia are discussed to highlight the role of women in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” and “The Merchant of Venice”.
Both these characters are very important and main female characters in these plays. Lady Macbeth Lady Macbeth is a fictional character in Shakespeare’s Macbeth (c. –). She is the wife to the play’s protagonist, Macbeth, a . Welcome to Empire Cinemas. Lose Yourself in Film with the UK's leading independently-owned cinema chain with 14 locations ( screens) Nationwide, including our brilliant IMPACT, IMAX & D-Box screens.
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Salome Jens Salome Jens has appeared in lead roles on Broadway in Far Country, Night Life, The Disenchanted, Patriot For Me, A Lie of the Mind.