‘Men were deceivers ever.’ To what extent can it be argued that Shakespeare’s presentation of men’s attitudes to women in ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ allows for comedy? In Much Ado about Nothing, it can be equally argued that men’s attitudes towards women are actually used for comedy purposes, and it can be argued that their attitudes aren’t. For this argument, the relationship between Beatrice and Benedick at the start of the play can be seen as comical to the audience, as they both claim to dislike each other and take pleasure in making rude remarks to one another. On the other hand, the relationship between Hero and Claudio could be seen as quite dark to the audience, as there are accusations and trust issues between the two. The quote ‘men were deceivers ever’ comes from Act 2 Scene 3 of the play, from the song that Balthasar sings.
Do you agree that Shakespeare presents Beatrice and Katherina as “offending against society’s expectations about women”? The idea that both Beatrice and Katherina offend against society’s expectations of women in the plays Much Ado About Nothing and The Taming of the Shrew is open to personal interpretation. We must take into account which society it is we are suggesting they are offending against, if we are judging it on Shakespearean society’s expectations we could, in theory, agree with the statement, due to the fact that at that time, women were largely expected to be submissive, quiet and respectful to the superior sex, males. However, it would not be correct to say that Beatrice and Katherina offend against modern day expectations of women. Further to this, it would also depend on at which point in the play we are making our judgement.
(Stabs herself) There rust and let me die.”-P. 579 lines (169-171). It’s really sad that all of this could have been avoided if Juliet would’ve just left with Romeo or if their families gave up their hatred for one another. Throughout Romeo and Juliet, Romeo and Juliet’s personality drastically changes. At first Romeo was love-sick and Juliet didn’t want anything to do with marriage. Then they meet, fall in love and get married.
Here, Lewis questions her and her morals, Lucy responds positively, like there is nothing wrong with the current situation. The reason for this is that Lucy’s beliefs differ from Lewis’, and as a result Lewis is dumbstruck to find that Lucy thinks this way. Nick, having the same views, supports Lucy and in doing so pushes Lewis away to do the play. In a way, the play within the play, Cosi, resembles parts of the actual story that have occurred. For instance, the purpose of the play within the play is to show that women are not always faithful; Lucy and even Julie, who is found to have a lesbian partner she wants to keep true to, have demonstrated this outside the play.
His prose lacks the poetry a theater-lover might wish for. Is this why I find myself thinking of Shakespeare? You may recall the incredible character-sketch of Lady Macbeth. In the beginning, as the drama unfolds, she is not only the nursemaid to her husband’s flagging ambition; she is the engine driving its fulfillment. Her counsel is firm of purpose, almost inhumanly so.
“Wouldst thou have that which thou esteem'st the ornament of life, and live a coward in thine own esteem, letting “I dare not” wait upon “I would, ” like the poor cat i' th' adage?” (Shakespeare, Act I, scene vii, 45-49). Once again Lady Macbeth is questioning Macbeth’s manhood to belittle him and get what she wants. This is Lady Macbeth’s role throughout the play, to torment Macbeth until even she can’t handle what is occurring. If Lady Macbeth had not manipulated Macbeth, the murders would have most likely not
He depicts women as completely sexual creatures and also devalues women in the eyes of men. The way we have viewed women from the 1600’s to now has changed dramatically. In the 1600’s, the approximate time period Shakespeare had written Hamlet, women where viewed as helpless, dependent and had no place in society. Women today are looked upon with respect and dignity because they have earned self respect, value and a place in society as hard working, knowledgeable and yet compassionate. I believe Gertrude from Hamlet, is a depthless individual who only thinks about her body and external pleasures.
Women in Hamlet “Hamlet sees Gertrude give way to Claudius, [and] Ophelia give way to Polonius…” (David Leverenz) Examine how Shakespeare treats the female characters/ explores the role of the woman in Hamlet and what the response of a modern audience might be to this aspect of the play. • “[Ophelia] is a play within a play, or a player trying to respond to several imperious directors at once. Everyone has used her: Polonius, to gain favour; Laertes, to belittle Hamlet; Claudius, to spy on Hamlet; Hamlet to express rage at Gertrude; and Hamlet again, to express his feigned madness with her as a decoy. She is valued only for the roles that further other people’s plots.” (David Leverenz) • “For most critics of Shakespeare, Ophelia has been an insignificant minor character in the play, touching in her weakness and madness but chiefly interesting, of course, in what she tells us about Hamlet.” (Elaine Showalter) • “We can imagine Hamlet’s story without Ophelia, but Ophelia literally has no story without Hamlet.” (Lee Edwards) • “Since the 1970s… we have had a feminist discourse which has offered a new perspective on Ophelia’s madness as protest and rebellion. For many feminist theorists, the madwoman is a heroine, a powerful figure who rebels against the family and the social order…” (Elaine Showalter) • “Gertrude, in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, has traditionally been played as a sensual, deceitful woman.” (Rebecca Smith) • “…when one closely examines Gertrude’s actual speech and actions in an attempt to understand the character , one finds little that hints at hypocrisy, suppression, or uncontrolled passion and their implied complexity.” (Rebecca Smith) • “Gertrude appears in only ten of the twenty scenes that comprise the play; furthermore she speaks very little, having less dialogue than any other major character in Hamlet… she
Shakespeare subverts gender roles like this throughout the play, such as when Lady Macbeth decides her husband is unable to commit the atrocities to sit on the throne and taunts him, insinuating things about his manhood and claiming he has "th' milk of human kindness" (Act 1, 5.15) implying that he isn't strong enough to kill King Duncan. There is also a moment during a soliloquy where she wishes she could unsex herself so she could do the job without an inkling of guilt. (Act 1.5.38-41). This goading, as Lady Macbeth is aware, became a powerful tool in emasculinating her husband and forcing his hand to prove that he is in fact up to the task. This is the first time we see where the power lies, and this dynamic proves that it resides with Lady Macbeth; she's the one that's controlling things, despite the times.
“No, you two infinitely stupid male creatures: the problem of what is to be done with her afterwards.” (Shaw, 65) Mrs. Higgins shows she doesn’t see the girl as some experiment un like the men in the play who do not seem to view women as the same value. Having a women who respects and has morals for other women is very important for this play. “Do without, I’m afraid, Henry. The girl has a perfect right to leave is she chooses.” (Shaw, 84) This is Mrs. Higgins explaining to her son that he can’t control the young women that she has some rights of her own, and he is to blind to see this on his own. Making the role of women important to see that the young Liza Doolittle has some rights of her own.