William Shakespeare’s famous play, Hamlet, offers detailed and often callous insights into the role of women, and men, in the Renaissance period in which the playwright lived in. Throughout this time, traditional women were often constantly criticised and treated as inferior to male counterparts. As such, Shakespeare has constructed his female characters to fulfil these traditional roles; however by taking a feminist approach these female characters appear marginalised and degraded. Ultimately, through the playwright’s representation of women, they can be see as worthless, sexual objects , both weak and inconsiderate in nature. Through a modern perception on the playwright’s female characters, women can be seen as worthless, sexually corrupt indiviudals.
She has a quick eye to see what is weak or ridiculous in man or woman. “Has Signior Mountanto returned from the wars or no?” This is how we are introduced to this fascinating woman who at first seems spiteful and full of scorn. It is perhaps not a coincidence that her very first dialogue in the play betrays her passion Benedick, although it is masked by sarcasm. Benedick and Beatrice’s lengthened relationship is made known to us over the course of the play. They have always had “a skirmish of wits” between them.
In Ken Kesey’s One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest, all women, with the exception of the prostitutes, are characterised as evil, sexless, threatening and terrifying figures, which is supportive of the argument that women find it harder to be an individual by highlighting the way woman are viewed and portrayed in society. The novel’s portrayal shows them as either control freaks that emasculate the men around them, such as Nurse Ratched, and Billy Bibbit’s mother, or as objects for sexual gratification, such as the two prostitutes Candy and Sandy. The patients refer to Nurse Ratched and the other female characters within the ward as “Ball cutters” highlighting that they believe women are intent on dominating men to the point where they feel castrated, like their manhood has been taken away and they have no freedom or individuality, whereas the prostitutes are dedicated to pleasuring men and doing what they are told and so are praised and encouraged by the male patients of the ward, further dirtying the image of women in society and telling women that they will only be accepted by men when they allow themselves to become a
Writing about Theme of Story I have recently read a novel named The Color Purple written Alice Walker has a message which is the power of strong female relationships. Throughout the novel, Ceila has been discriminated for who she was, and didn’t accept her self. She was always used for, and had a male dominating her. In the novel, there were several characters that changed Celia, and it were women that were very close to her. Her sister Nettie was a big influenced to her and Shrug.
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
Many women writers blossomed after 1950. They started captivating a new status among the society they lived. We may not say that they had got all the rights equal to men but the thing is they started to give voice for getting their rights. The condition of subaltern and women was being such, we must think of the condition of a subaltern woman. They were suppressed not only because of gender but also of their low rank.
One of the most important lines in the play, “Well, women are used to worrying over trifles” (Trifles 1339) is a representation of the message which Glaspell intended to portray. That line contains the first comment which the audience sees as negative toward women. This type of degradation toward women is displayed throughout the entire play. The aforementioned line also contains irony because what the men see as “trifles”, the women use to solve the murder of Mr. Wright. Glaspell creates more irony by using the men’s degrading remarks towards the women; for example, the county attorney makes the comment that “a sheriff’s wife is married to the law” (1344).
It is commonly believed that in the ancient time, women suffered from the prejudice that they were inferior and should be controlled and shaped by men. With the resurgence of self-awareness and enhancement of feminism, women have been increasingly independent and eager to assert themselves physically and mentally. Whereas, admittedly, their fragile and instinct side is indispensable with no exception to all human beings, which, in comparison with men, they hold more stress from the whole society and individual. Sylvia Plath's poems, Child and Mirror, are exuberant in feeling and thinking and represent women's deep disappointment by vivid and detailed description. Sylvia Plath's Child depicts her disappointing emotional statement owing to the world in which her child is being raised, and radically it derives from her instinct and affection as a mother.
Woolf interprets the contrast between the women in fiction and the real women of the period as evidence that the famous characters are nothing but impossibilities imagined upon by men. She argues that only a female writer could have created characters endowed with women’s hindered possibilities. But perhaps the women portrayed in Elizabethan fiction weren’t just men being conveniently portrayed as women like Woolf claims. Perhaps Shakespeare and other authors created these strong characters as symbols of what women could’ve been, barring the legal and social injustices they faced. Lady Macbeth is undoubtedly Shakespeare’s most vicious and cunning female character.
And what is a greater crime than making women hate themselves for reasons that they cannot change? The “anti-narcissism” that men have made consists of women not liking anything about them and wishing that they were the opposite sex just to get more respect. They don’t have any self-respect for themselves because of the nonsense that the “dominant” males have fed them their whole lives. This makes everything hostile for women and while men are busy controlling what the rules are and what can be published, women are struggling with this internal conflict that they’ll never get far in life because of their sex. Cixous boldly declares that women have been “kept in the dark.” What is this darkness you may ask?