How Are Changes In Gender Relation Dramatized As Being Particularly Of Their Time? Essay

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I am going to examine the gender relations in “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare and “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell. Gender relations are the role, position and relationships men and women have society. I will explore the progression of the position of men and women in society. I will also look at how men have treated women between the 16th and 20th century. Susan Glaspell’s play, “Trifles”, was written in 1916. It reflects the author’s worry with culture-bound notions of gender and sex roles. As the title of the play suggests, the concerns of women are often considered to be mere trifles, unimportant issues which bear little or no importance to the true work of society, which, of course, is considered as being carried out by men. Glaspell questions, and in so doing calls the reader or viewer to also question, the relative value of men’s and women’s perspectives and work by setting up a tension-filled drama that unfolds through the development of two distinct narratives, one male and one female. The questioning Glaspell provokes is not necessarily only about women’s roles in society, but rather how knowledge and perspective are valued or devalued within specific contexts. Perhaps the most important theme in Trifles is the difference between men and women. The two sexes are distinguished by the roles they play in society, their physicality, their methods of communication and, vital to the plot of the play, their powers of observation. In simple terms, Trifles suggests that men tend to be aggressive, brash, rough, analytical and self-cantered; in contrast, women are more circumspect, deliberative, intuitive, and sensitive to the needs of others. It is these differences which allow Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale to find the clues needed to solve the crime, while their husbands miss the same clues. The men and

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