Elizabethan Drama is obsessed by the issue of social status.

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When talking about the significance of social status in relation to Elizabethan drama, we must understand something about Elizabethan society itself. One of the main things to note about Elizabethan life is the Patriarchal society that had been built up around it. The Patriarchal household placed the Father in a role that likened him to the ruler of the realm; the father had power not only over his wife and children but all the household servants and apprentices . During this period of time women were always classed as subservient to men, regardless of their wealth or class. This was because women were seen as less rational than men therefore they had less economic and legal right in comparison to males of the same status . This meant that women became reliant on male relatives or their husbands to support them. When it came to Elizabethan theatre itself, there were many cases of male superiority the most obvious being that women were not allowed to act on a public stage nor were they allowed to write plays to be performed on a public stage. This was because acting was considered dishonourable for women as it was thought that actors sold their bodies, which would liken women to prostitutes, this meant that all female roles were played by young boys. It is this gender status that many plays of the Elizabethan Era were obsessed. Catherine Belsey believes that it is “Shakespeare’s comedies that can be read as disrupting sexual differences which calls into question what it means to be a woman. ” In many of Shakespeare’s comedies he creates female characters that cross dress to “escape the constraints and the vulnerability of their femininity” . The cross dressing can be a way for women in which to escape the tyranny and the nature of the patriarchal family and can also enable heroines to get control of their own lives. Julia, in Two Gentlemen of Verona, Rosalind, in
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