The knight’s tale, an alliterative romance and one of the better-known Arthurian stories, and the wife’s tale, the best-known of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, give insight into the specific roles of women in the late Middle Ages. The two tales want the reader to determine and recognize that the women are mostly portrayed as manipulative seductresses. Many times a woman is blamed for a man’s fall from goodness to evil. Other times, the plots include women who meet the expectations of what some during the times believed women should be—more reflective to the bible, loyal to their husbands, pure, sweet, and helpless. In the tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Lady Bertilak, the main female character and the most important characters in this medieval poem, is prompted by her husband to discover if Sir Gawain is pure or not.
Some might even say Shelley ardently agreed with the position in which they found themselves and the securely fixed roles during the Victorian era. Caroline Frankenstein, for example, from the beginning is the embodiment of the idealised female. She is initially presented as the perfect daughter, nursing her father lovingly till his death, and progresses on to the perfect wife, though one might argue that she never ‘progresses’ at all . She remains pale, lacking the life and vigour the men in the book so often posses, and as a result the reader pushes her to the side as a minor character. But although at first Frankenstein may give the reader the impression that women have very little impact in the novel, Shelley slyly uses them to deconstruct the power and control that men had been enjoying for years .
The few women that do exist in the novel are ‘idealised’ as a type of perfection of the species. This is countered as the men are displayed as flawed and arguably weak. Caroline and Elizabeth are major examples of this idealisation; there are potentially many reasons for this. This can be seen through an example of Shelley applauding the feminine and criticising the masculine is through the relationship between Victor and his mother. Caroline is shown to be a loving and perfect parent; she is often described as ‘soft and benevolent’.
It could be deduced that Mary Shelley presents the female characters in ‘Frankenstein’ stereotypically. Caroline Beaufort, the first woman we as readers are introduced to, is presented as a strong female through the way Shelley has characterized her. For example, even after the death of her father, we are told that ‘her courage rose to support her in adversity’, and that she ‘possessed a mind of uncommon mould’. However, her roles in the novel could be criticized from a female perspective as being stereotypical due to the excessive description that could connote women to be soft, vulnerable and purely for maternal purposes. The use of the superlative ‘greatest’ in the quote ‘his daughter attended him with the greatest tenderness’, to describe the scale of tenderness whilst caring for her father and emphasizes the idea of women being extremely kindhearted and comforting towards their loved ones.
Ultimately, women contain a great amount of inner strength and courage even in their most agonizing times. In several situations, Hosseini has displayed the courageous aspects and the strength of women through the use of metaphors. An example of this is when Nana tells Marriam, “similar to a compass needle that points north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman" (page 7). This metaphor demonstrates the inner strength of women because they constantly have to deal with this inferiority, and also idea that women are often held responsible for acts they have not committed. Secondly, despite the degrading of women in this novel the protagonists, Mariam and Laila consistently have the courage to persevere throughout the book.
In Mallory’s romantic literature Le Morte d’Arthur, these ideals occurs throughout King Arthur’s court where the knights quest, honor and respect their women, and exhibit bravery and courage all in the name of chivalry. King Arthur becomes King of England and portrays many chivalrous acts throughout the book. In the very beginning, he shows his respect for women when Merlin tells him to show respect for the Lady of the Lake since she is the one that will present him with another magic sword, Excaliber. In return for her generosity, Arthur speaks politely to her and says, “I swear whatever gift is in my power to grant” (Baines 24). A Romantic element of immorality transpires when King Arthur beds and creates a child with his sister, whom he does not know is his sister.
The substandard status of women has been a staple in various cultures throughout the centuries. Certainly the literary world has been no exception; in fact, literature projects the creed of a civilization rather well. At first glance, women seem to take up very little space within the context of Beowulf, but a second look will reveal their societal roles in this era thanes and kings. Particularly, the portrayal of Queen Wealhtheow as a peacemaker and an audible voice reflects the contradictory expectations of women in a patriarchal society. As the queen, Wealhtheow is by default the ceremonial hostess as well; she is expected to bridge the gaps that exist between the guests and the rest of the king’s court.
The Portrayal of Women in The Great Gatsby In the past and even in modern times, women have been depicted in ways that only reveal the negative sides of their true beings, whether it would be in articles, novels, or generally – just in society. Throughout The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald achieves this portrayal by creating female characters that exemplify attributes that are typically seen as unpleasing in society. Furthermore, in the novel there are specific examples which reveal women in a negative light. From beginning to end, as readers it is easy to notice how weak Fitzgerald portrays these women through the relationships, and mindsets they are in. In a similar way, readers can distinguish how untrustworthy these characters are from what they chose to share.
The letter’s meaning shifts as time passes. “Such helpfulness was found in her… so much power to do, and power to sympathize… that many people refused to interpret the scarlet A by its original signification. They said that it meant Able; so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman's strength” (Hawthorne 141). Originally, it was intended to mark Hester as an adulterer, the "A" eventually comes to stand for "Able". Furthermore, for the Native Americans who come to watch the Election Day Pageant believes it marks her as a person of importance and status (Hawthorne 161).
/ Adorned in her gold, she graciously saluted / the men in the hall, then handed the cup / first to Hrothgar, their homeland’s guardian,” (Beowulf, 613-16) here we are introduced to Wealhtheow, queen of the Danes and wife of Hrothgar. As we are introduced to Wealhtheow we read that she “graciously saluted the hall” (614-15) while observing her king’s men, this holds a very important role for a women as a hostess. A secondary role the queen plays is the role of peacemaker. This entitles her to