Independence for women in Elizabethan times was not important; they were known to be frail and weak. Shakespeare contradicts the perceived views of women in the 16th century through his portrayal of women in The Merchant of Venice. The female characters are courageous and strong willed; they display this through their thoughts and decisions during the difficult situations they are put in. It was common in the 16th century for fathers to choose who their precious daughters will marry. With that being said, the women generally would not have any say in who they may marry.
It can also be seen that Hamlet’s opinion of woman is due to the influence of the women he knows. Hamlet’s perception of women is distorted because of Ophelia, his love interest, and Gertrude, his mother, who have betrayed him in some way. Both Ophelia and Gertrude are incapable of living without a man and need one in their lives to guide them. Secondly, Ophelia and Gertrude submit and obey their male counterparts to be controlled by them. Lastly, they are both confused and mostly completely unaware of their surroundings.
“Frailty, thy name is woman” In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, the two characters of Gertrude and Ophelia have great potential to be strong independent women however their circumstances often hold them back. Ophelia shows her frailty in numerous ways during the course of the play. Ophelia is displayed as the sweet, innocent, love interest of Hamlet who is dependent on her father and brother, Ophelia has little power to exert her individuality or to make her own decisions, which clearly puts her weaknesses on display. As the Queen of Denmark Gertrude must be a strong woman for the benefit of herself and her country, which she fails at in various instances throughout the play. Gertrude is clearly more concerned with her personal status than she is with respect or honesty towards herself, making her weak.
How this structure may show the struggle between the sexes is through the impression and notion of Churchill having a contemporary, free form, she is not complying and concurring to the expectations and normal literary structures; it seems that she is breaking the rules. Men throughout centuries were known to be the authors who had authority over their pieces, the chance to present various ideas through various forms and often it was accepted. Churchill goes against these expectations that society has on female play wrights to show that they are free and by her presenting these fragmented scenes, not only would it allow the
Do “Sponges” Deserve Sympathy The roles of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are relatively minor in the overall plot of Hamlet. However, the insertions of these two characters that ended their lives with tragic or absurd death by Shakespeare was significant as these two minor characters’ falls are not direct consequences of their actions to fulfill their intentions as. They are neither political players in the Danish court who need to struggle or to conspire to get the grasp of power nor those people who feel compelled to revenge for their fathers like Hamlet and Laertes. The fact that their deaths are actually their mission to accomplish is both comic and tragic. Today, name of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are closely associated with betrayal of friendships as these two former friends of Hamlet is doing everything in favor of Hamlet’s top enemy, Claudius to destroy Hamlet’s influence.
Shakespeare mocked the inadequacy of court system by introducing Oliver and Duke Fredrick who are lawfully approved but morally disdained by the audiences. The injustice empowered by the misprizing law originates various conflicts in As You Like It. It is resolved at the end when Oliver and Duke Fredrick restore their true natures and justify the civilization in the court. Although the injustice is eventually resolved in As You Like It, the problem of sexual inequality remains unresolved throughout the play. Shakespeare enjoyed picturing his female characters of virtue, wisdom and gentleness.
The readers decide whether Lady Macbeth is a supportive or a contrary wife, as Shakespeare exhibits her as an evil character as she continuously uses negative language throughout the play giving her an overpowering presence on stage. Lady Macbeth’s character contradicts with the roles of women in the Elizabethan Era as they were regarded as their husband’s possessions and weren’t entitled to an opinion. A stereotypical Elizabethan woman was expected to be innocent, gentle and dutiful as they were inferior to men. In the same way the lady from the lab presents her desires through a dramatic monologue that runs throughout Robert Browning’s poem. The use of this allows the reader to be involved in the description of the situation that the lady is currently undergoing, and this is simply her cheating ‘Lover’.
Women in the play ‘King Lear’ are presented in two very different fashions by Shakespeare. Cordelia, the youngest of the three daughters, is presented in an entirely different way to that of Reagan and Gonerill in that she is presented as loyal and trustworthy with France marrying her on virtue alone without needing a dowry as an incentive. Critic Nicole Smith says Gonerill and Reagan ‘Challenge traditional roles [of women].’ This demonstrates to us how Gonerill and Regan are presented in a sly deceitful way; not the way you would expect women to be presented in the time of Shakespeare. Gonerill and Reagan also play a very big role in the beginning of the play as they eventually reduce King Lear to tears having continually cut down his army until it is no more. King Lear says to his daughters ‘if it be you that stirs these daughters’ hearts against their father’ which shows how he feels betrayed: a feeling he may have not felt if he had not been so foolish to dismiss Cordelia for her honesty.
During the time period in which Shakespeare wrote Macbeth, women were uneducated, they were forced to act submissively and never express their opinions. Shakespeare, by using several female characters, particularly the Three Witches with powerful roles, made a complete turnaround from the norm as he went against expectations for the time period. One of the first examples of this is in Act 1 Scene 3 when one of the witches reveals that she has been ‘killing swine’ this contradicts the way women should have behaved during the 1600s as they were perceived to be kind, caring creatures. This is one of the commonest charges brought against supposed witches in Shakespeare's day was that they maliciously killed by pestilence, or the evil eye, the domestic animals of those they had a grudge against. The fact that this is some of the first activity from the witches gives us an insight into the masculinity that the witches hold.
Iago believes that Othello has greatly misjudged choosing “Michael Cassio”, over him, as Cassio is a “Mere prattle without practice”. Throughout this extract Iago dominates through sheer volume of words it only begins as a typical conversational pattern, then Iago dominates the text with his lengthy speeches. Shakespeare uses metaphors to make a contribution to the dramatic impact of this verse. For example, Iago uses the metaphor of a ship “blee’d and clam’d”. A ship is “bleed and calm’d” when the wind is taken out of it’s sails, and this reflects how Iago feels at being passed over promotion by Othello.