Even though there are some similarities between the two writers, there are also many differences. For example ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is large scale and public whereas Philip Larkin’s poems are small scale and private in feeling. ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is set in Verona which was a patriarchal society, one which was dominated by men, women were seen as feeble and inferior. Act One Scene One immediately highlights this, when Sampson and Gregory refer to women as 'the weaker vessels'. Men were expected to be powerful and control the women, who were expected to obey them.
In the beginnings of The Taming of the Shrew, Katherine is a quick-tongued, bold woman with a penchant for resistance, even in a male-dominated world in which others view this behavior as severely unconventional of a proper woman. This is why many of the other characters never desire her for a spouse of their own. They believe she would make “a shrewd, ill-favoured wife” (Shakespeare 1.2.57 183). The ferocity of Katherine’s beginning personality is best viewed in her initial conversations with Petruccio. Even though Petruccio acknowledges Katherine’s obstinate personality through his comment that his “remedy is then to pluck it out” (Shakespeare 2.1.209 192), Katherine still brazenly declares “Ay, if the fool could find it where it lies” (Shakespeare 2.1.210 192).
Radical Women and Radical Ideas Historically speaking, the Grecian culture was outwardly masignonstic, holding the men at a much higher esteem than their female counterparts. In Athenian society, a man's world by organization, there was no place for women outside of their homes. Many of the dramas of the era reflected the misogyny and male dominance in the culture. Unlike most playwrights, however, Euripides was well known for his empathy towards women and their role in the Ancient Grecian world. In his tragic play, Medea, he highlighted his sympatheticness towards women.
Feminism in Othello Othello is a tragic play about an angry man, Iago, who does everything in his power to destroy the life of the hero, Othello, for promoting somebody else. In the play, there are only 2 major female characters and each of these characters embodies a completely different bias about women and feminism in the Elizabethan times. Desdemona, Othello’s wife and the more traditional character, believes in putting her husband first, and that love is all the matters. Emilia, on the other hand, is Iago’s wife and one of Desdemona’s dearest friends. She is the strong feminist in the play, and believes in women’s rights and the fact that women are physically no different to men.
Browning contrasts the Duke’s representation of the duchess with the factual representation emphasising the Duke’s manic state and causing the audience to strongly oppose the duke as a person. Men feel the need to retain their pride in relationships which reflects the social attitudes and patriarchal values of the Victorian Era. The Victorian Era was a time of a changing social attitudes and people felt insecure and questioned their dominance with an increased male ego. This is evident in Browning’s portrayal of the Duke in “My Last Duchess”. Browning contrasts the happiness of the duchess with by providing imagery of nature, “Bough of cherries” and “orchard” with the dark, manic mind of the duke.
Shakespeare presents the stranglehold that men have over women and furthers the notion that men view women as items to be controlled in Messina culture. The characterisation of Hero can be seen as offensive to many female critics as Hero’s willingness to be ruled by male figures ’I will do any modest office, my lord, to help my cousin to a good husband’(2/1/346) presents how the Elizabethan society expects obedience from women and Hero helps promote this ideology. However, Leonato’s treatment of Hero addresses how gender relationships, even between family members are highly suggestive of harm. When Claudio slanders Hero, Leonato exclaims ‘vanquish’d the resistance of her youth and made defeat of her’ (4/1/45-46). This is pitifully sad,
“A Streetcar Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams is a portrait of the conflict between men and women in a masculine society that is dominated by the owners and leaders of the household, men. As a consequence, the play deals with women dependence on men. Similarly, to the way modern women rely on men in today’s world. The women in the play, Blanche and Stella, choose to fall back on men and depend on them to help them economically but also emotionally and sexually. Both women in the play, see male companions as essential to achieve happiness and they depend on men for both their living and self-image.
Composed and based in the Elizabethan Era, the original Taming of the Shrew holds a very patriarchal plot line, presenting an obvious male dominant society. In a society the male is portrayed as the dominant provider and the woman is portrayed as the weak submissive mate who obeys her male companion. Shakespeare uses Petruchio to display male dominance, using his cruel techniques to 'tame' Kate 'I swear I'll cuff you if you strike again'. She is forced to obey Petruchio's every command, not only because she is his wife but also because of the role women in the Elizabethan era were constrained to fulfil. By Taming Kate, Shakespeare presents a message of social order.
Macbeth Gender Role Mini-Essay By Dashiell Hunter In society, men are usually expected to act tough and uncaring. This is usually because men are generally seen as the stronger of the genders, or the patriarch, the head of the household. According to the Norton Anthology of English Literature, “Unmarried virgins and wives were to maintain silence in the public sphere and give unstinting obedience to father and husband.” Clearly, in the time when Macbeth was written, society expected men to be more dominant and outgoing than women.Before Macbeth kills the king, he portrays the decidedly more feminine role in the tragedy of Macbeth. The significance of gender roles in Macbeth are important because the main character and his wife both defy the traditional gender roles and have exchanged gender roles with each other. When Macbeth is doubting the decision to kill King Duncan, and his wife, Lady Macbeth, responds by challenging his manhood saying, “When you durst do it, you were a man; and to be more than what you were, you would be so much more the man.” (Act 1.
Despite common belief that Ophelia and Gertrude merely serve as subservient, foil characters among the men in the play, many critics see strong glimmers of feminism within the two. Many feel that the weaknesses in the women are highlighted solely to take attention away from the atrocities that the men commit. In other words, the men fear the weak, feminine characteristics within themselves, so they project the image of promiscuity onto the females in order to secrete their masculine bloodshed. This is found evident in Hamlet’s reaction to Polonius’ death in his infamous scene with Gertrude, where he attempts to “speak daggers to her, but use none.” (3-2-378) Upon the murder of Polonius, Gertrude’s "supposed sin is made to overshadow his actual sin and somehow to justify it." Moreover, it’s only when Ophelia dies that she is finally able to escape the “whore” image that the men in the play had branded her with.