Marlene calls Thatcher; ‘Maggie’ – colloquial use of her name suggesting closeness, perhaps a metaphor for the incorporation of the prime minister’s ideology into society and presenting its strong impact on ordinary life, especially Marlene’s. Churchill however shows how this allusion to a return of the ‘stupendous eighties’ is unrealistic, Thatcher’s contemporary ideology doesn’t work for women or those of lower class unless they lose their identity but perhaps contrasting that it’s exactly this strong ideology that has enabled Marlene to succeed in a world of ‘monetarism.’ For example, Nijo doesn’t actually beat her husband but for the purpose of the play, to highlight the feminist theme, Churchill exaggerates - her thoughts and desires are so strong that they seem real. Nijo defies male dominance like Marlene breaks stereotypical male dominance by reaching ‘top’ through gaining the promotion over other male contenders. The embodiment of Marlene in the character of Nijo emphasises the loss of parts of Marlene’s identity. It’s ironic that Marlene sympathises with characters of Act1 and doesn’t realise the catharsis of her unconscious manifesting itself in this surreal scene.
It seems as if women are plentiful and men are rare. The man has freedom and the option to choose any girl that he wants, while the women are desperate and fight for whichever man they can get. Jane Austen points this out and shows how dependent the woman is on a man in her English society. This dependence is viewed as a necessary part of upper class England by most and was not criticized. If Jane Austen had written a book simply about English society, these sentiments would not have showed up.
Desdemona is Othello’s wife, and she has the biggest role of the women in the play. Roderigo is in love with her, but her father, Brabantio, does not allow Roderigo to marry her. We can conclude from this that at least Desdemona and Emilia are important characters, as they are the wives of the main characters, and Bianca seems to be just a minor character, but in order to find out more about the importance of women in Othello, we have to look at the roles of Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca in the play. Bianca receives Desdemona’s handkerchief from Cassio, and unknowingly makes Othello believe that Desdemona is cheating on him, when she gives the handkerchief back to Cassio, which was Iago’s plan, as he was trying to convince Othello that Desdemona was cheating on him, and this was the thing that made Othello believe him. (Bianca (Othello)) Emilia is the one who finds Desdemona’s handkerchief after she accidentally leaves it, and she gives it to Iago, because he has asked her before to steal the handkerchief.
The theme of feminism in King Lear Although the main character in King Lear is typically a man, the female characters are a driving force in the plot. Their responses to their father’s request for them to declare how much they love him, influences the rest of the play. The fact that this happens in the first scene of Act One underlines the importance of the female characters to the plot. Shakespeare typically chose a male protagonist as the title character for his play but as in his other plays he has created strong, powerful female characters. Throughout the course of the play, the female characters are seen as powerful figures who are more ruthless than the men.
Although critics disagree on how the vastly different gender perceptions within the play are used to portray the theme of women’s power within law and justice, all of their arguments tie back to the fact that the women in the story act as a surrogate for the female society of that time, showing them that they have more power than they realize. Phyllis Mael asserts in "Trifles: The Path to Sisterhood," that the evolution of the women's relationships from acquaintance to co-conspirators illustrates the female psyche. Mael says the she feels the play's "moral dilemma" stresses the inherent differences between male theoretical sense of morality and female sensitive ethical sense which includes "moral problems as problems of responsibility in relationship" (Mael, 282-83). Although the women draw closer to solving the crime as the men, using "abstract rules and rights," make comments that "trivialize the domestic sphere," ethical agreement comes only after Mrs. Peters moves from "acquiescence to patriarchal law" to
Although this is posed as an either or question, this essay will explore how Atwood has been able to create what is ultimately a feminist work whilst also criticising the failures of feminism. Atwood is addressing a topical issue of the 1980’s, the contrast and conflict between the more traditional feminist ideas of sexualisation being disempowering, and the post-feminist perspective of claiming one’s sexuality . Firstly, by condemning complacency in characters like Offred, and advocating for the stronger feminist role models. Atwood is promoting feminism through this because she is showing the importance of activism against patriarchy. Secondly, Atwood critiques the social structures and attitudes surrounding femininity.
In Sophocles’ and Anouilh’s versions of Antigone, the playwrights have very strict guidelines when portraying their female characters. This portrayal is supported through the reversal of gender roles, as well as stereotypical appearances of women. Through the breaking of gender stereotypes and the failure to abide by gender law, the characters in both versions of Antigone succumb to the temptation of suicide. By examining the characters in each play, it is clear that those who follow gender laws and have pleasing appearances are given choice over their fate, and those that do not must die, their death allowing them to achieve the concept of true beauty. Those that break assigned gender laws will have no choice but to submit to an inevitable death.
For as long as we can remember, men have always seemed to have more power and rights than women. However, because of this many women have tried to find ways to become more known and independent. For example, Frida Kahlo was an artist who appeared to try very hard to be manly but near the end of her life becomes in touch with her feminine side. A story by John Steinbeck called “The Chrysanthemums” talks about a women called Elisa who also is very masculine, but she lets society get the best of her and doesn’t try her hardest to stand up for herself. Both of these women have similarities, for instance, they both don’t have any children, they wish to be seen equally to men, and they feel somewhat imprisoned within themselves.
A Gender Criticism of Shakespeare’s Anthony & Cleopatra During Elizabethan times woman were viewed only as the lesser gender. They did not have any power, they also took the submissive role in the relationship, and did just as their would say. Even with a Queen that herself refused to marry due possibly to refusal to lose her throne to her husband who would be King they still were view this way. Men were always the lead in a relationship and always had the power. Although Anthony in Shakespeare’s Anthony & Cleopatra does undergo a gender role reversal, it is Cleopatra’s role reversal that make her one of the most fascinating female characters in the Shakespearean canon and Anthony & Cleopatra one of the most complex Shakespearean plays.
William Shakespeare, although often accused of chauvinism, broke the norms and expectations of an otherwise sexist era and developed some of the strongest female characters in theatre’s history, thus establishing matriarchs that would later provide examples for the ideals of the feminist movement. Shakespeare’s time, more broadly defined at the Elizabethan era, was bleak for women. Even though Queen Elizabeth I was unmarried, powerful, and highly educated, the society did not heed her example and regard the rest of the female population accordingly. The Queen was an anomaly; most other women were fragile and dependent, not allowed to fend for themselves even if they desired to do so. Women were regarded as inferior.