An Analysis on the Female Character Typology in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”

1393 Words6 Pages
In order to understand Shakespeare’s view upon women, it is essentially to investigate the social context of that time. The Elizabethan era is associated with Queen Elizabeth I's reign and is often considered to be the Golden Age in English history. Despite the power of Elisabeth I, women during this time had very little authority, autonomy, or recognition. Women acquired 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 claim their views were seen as a threat to social order. This is significant in that the conservation of social order was a very important aspect of the Elizabethan society. Gender roles during the Elizabethan era were clearly defined, with men reigning superior over women. Elizabethan women were expected to bring a dowry to the marriage. A dowry was an amount of money, goods, or a property that the bride would bring to the marriage. The household is illustrated as a miniature kingdom where the husband represented the king. Men really had such great influence over women. While men went out to work, women at that time were only demanded to stay at home, manage the household duties and take care of the children. All throughout their life, the women of the Elizabethan times were forced to become dependent on a male relative, whether he was her father, brother, uncle, and husband. Even the Church believed this and quoted the Bible in order to ensure the continuation to this principle. The protestant Knox wrote that a “Woman in her greatest perfection was made to serve and obey man.” Nevertheless, it is interesting to point out that while the rest of the women of England sat at home and listened to their husbands, on the throne was a woman
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