The Role Gender Plays in Much Ado About Nothing

399 Words2 Pages
Men and women have always been treated different. The role of gender plays a huge part in society. The role of gender is a major theme in the play “Much Ado About Nothing”. In this play, the characters are subject to limitations and expectations because of their gender. In this play, it is clear that women are expected to submit to the men. From the beginning of the play, Hero willingly submits to her father’s wishes. Her expected duty as a woman in the time period of this play is clearly shown by this. The women must do whatever the men want them to do and be an obedient daughter or wife. In this way Hero exemplified everything that a women was expected to be. The character of Beatrice on the other hand, was not. Beatrice knew the restrictions that were placed on women and she deliberately was able to escape them by refusing to marry. The women’s opinions and statements are also not as valued as the men’s. This is evident in the disastrous wedding scene between Hero and Claudio. When Claudio accuses Hero of being disgrace to her family, he is believed. Hero denies Claudio’s claims that she was flirting with another man at her window, but Don Pedro says he definitely saw her too. Hero was found “guilty” because the men said she was (4.1.30-110). She was not declared innocent until Benedick and the friar discover what happened and told everyone (4.1.186-255 and 4.2.50). This proves that men are believed over women. The women also could not defend themselves. They could not defend themselves with words but also with actions. After Hero was accused and fainted at the wedding, Beatrice wanted to avenge Hero’s integrity and honor. However, because she was a woman, she could not and was forced to seek help from Benedick. She convinced Benedick to do what she wanted to, because he was a man and he could do something about it. In conclusion, men and women we’re
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