Through a modern perception on the playwright’s female characters, women can be seen as worthless, sexually corrupt indiviudals. Ophelia, often through the words of the men around her, can be partiicuarly perceived in this way. This is evident, with her father, Polonius when he says to Claudius, “At such a time, I loose my daughter to him; Be you and I behind an arras then; Mark the encounter…” (2.2.176-178) Polonius’ language here suggests that Ophelia is more of an animal than his daughter, and he as her father shows her little respect. This reading of Ophelia is also apparent through Hamlet’s language, describing her in unpleasant context or as a “dead dog”(2.2.81). He treats her with little regard and believes that she is a “breeder of maggot” This is also evident when Hamlet says to her, “ I say we will have no more marriages.
And what is a greater crime than making women hate themselves for reasons that they cannot change? The “anti-narcissism” that men have made consists of women not liking anything about them and wishing that they were the opposite sex just to get more respect. They don’t have any self-respect for themselves because of the nonsense that the “dominant” males have fed them their whole lives. This makes everything hostile for women and while men are busy controlling what the rules are and what can be published, women are struggling with this internal conflict that they’ll never get far in life because of their sex. Cixous boldly declares that women have been “kept in the dark.” What is this darkness you may ask?
Ibsen, faithfully, wrote the play as a way to criticize Europe society at the times when people were not interested in any technologies and truths. The ignorance people, in truth, would not regard what is right or wrong. They seem to believe what the majority believe without any consideration. Dangerously, people, in the play, seem to not care about having rights and allow their superior (might) to control anything even the truth. In the conversation between Dr. Stockman and his wife, as an example, Dr. Stockman says that ‘Yes, but I have right on mine!’ His Wife, Mrs. Stockman immediately reposes to his saying that ‘Right!
She calls the women “foul contending rebel[s]” and “graceless traitors” to their husbands. The fact that Katherine insulted the wives is another way she shows her dominance among the women and the unkind, look downed upon, nature that is put upon the wives. Ironically, Katherine also states that a women who do not obey her husbands are “muddy,” “ill-seeming,” and “bereft of beauty” implying that these wives are these characteristics because of their disobedience to their husbands. Using these words, Katherine patronizes and reprimands these wives publicly almost as if she was teaching them a lesson on how to be true wives. The condescending tone that Kate uses on these wives is a basically a scolding for their disobedience and also a lesson on why wives should submit to their husbands so humbly.
Life Without Love or Independence? In Jane Eyre and Hard Times, women are portrayed in a negative light throughout their respected novels; females are represented as being second class citizens to their male counterparts, and are unable to have a thought of their own. The traditional views of Victorian era gender roles are both enforced through the outside portrayal of the women that do not fit the mold of the ideal Victorian women yet is also subverted by the feelings the women feel when they left their bonds, or the consequences of living in the suffering of the gender misogamy they endure over their lifestyle. By expressing the men through traditional Victorian masculine characteristics such as being powerful and dominant to their meek and loyal female counterparts, the novels establish early on the barrier that the protagonists struggle with merely being female. In the novels, women are treated like second class citizens when compared to men and are expected to be content with this Victorian idea of patriarchal domination.
Both women are contrasting representations of Hedda. From the opening of the play her [Hedda’s] relationship with Aunt Julie is a strained one. Hedda views Aunt Julie as a symbol of what she herself loathes and could at the same time could quite easily become. Aunt Julie epitomises the idea of the domestic, dutiful woman with no true purpose of her own. She instead finds her purpose through the lives of the male characters and the arguably mediocre success that Tessman has had.
Superiority and overconfidence always seem to be closely associated with dominance and gender; and is amongst the dominant perspectives expressed by Shakespeare in the play, “Richard the Third”. The conflicting viewpoints of both sexes over superiority, is developed in Richard the third in the male point of view whereby Shakespeare reveals us to a male dominated world. “Why, I can smile...And murder while I smile!” It can be interpreted from the play that the: manipulative, malicious, power-hungry, Richard the third, did not have much regards for the life of women. Richard finds women inferior to men, has no respect for their emotions, and views them as tools. As far as the two major female characters of the play are concerned, Richard's attitude towards women becomes quite evident, and furthermore reflects his attitude towards life in a whole.
View of Womanhood in King Lear The portraits of womanhood seen in King Lear are slightly negative. Since the time when King Lear is written when men and women are not equal, it is obvious to see these traits in the play. In King Lear, women are sold, demonized and insulted. Although Cordelia expresses her feminine and righteous virtues, the men’s view constraints it and demines by insulting values of women in a whole. Through quotes from the book, the observation of womanhood is negatively seen by men in the play.
They are driven by instincts which are not within their control” (R86). Woolf elucidates that the character of men is to take power and act more aggressively than women, and this has given them an advantage in their excursion to becoming the privileged sex. Betty Friedman addresses the reality that fulfilling their traditional maternal roles of raising the children and tending to the household doesn’t satisfy some women, however, they are ashamed of this personal problem, lacking the confidence to enter the male territory where these women feel they may find something more meaningful. Women are limited by the inferiority put upon them by society as well as themselves. Women are kept from growing and learning, “education for women has become so suspect that more drop out of high school and college to marry and have babies…women so insistently confine themselves to one role”(R89).
Women were discouraged for their struggle of independence. It was purely a man dominated society who wanted to keep them oppressed. They always used to keep women dependent so that they may not violate the established rules of that time masculine society. Charlotte Bronte wrote Jane Eyre in such time to give vent to female voice for independence. She injected this feature into her protagonist Jane Eyre.