A Woman Without A Husband Is Like A Fish Without A Bicycle

1033 words - 5 pages

“In our society, the women who break down barriers are those who ignore limits.”- Arnold Schwarzenegger. During the Shakespearean Era, it was expected that women stay and act as a helper to her husband and remain undemanding, quiet, and dull. Women who defied these “rules” and started to act the way a majority of women do today, would be shunned and treated as if they were inhuman. In Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing, Beatrice is described as a woman who completely defies the standards of a woman and acts as though she is equal to men. Shakespeare portrays Beatrice as independent and outspoken to praise her features as ideal in a woman that would otherwise be shunned during his time.
Shakespeare portrays Beatrice as an independent woman to show his critique on society’s views towards a woman. Instead of giving Hero advice to listen to her father, Beatrice advises Hero to protest against her father and say “Father, as it please me” (II.i.55). Beatrice doesn’t like to be controlled by anybody regardless of their gender. Beatrice wants Hero to act more independent like herself in order to show her defiance towards gender roles. Shakespeare tries to say that women should have a say in their destiny. During Shakespeare’s time, women listened to their fathers, but Beatrice doesn’t listen to her uncle’s instruction unlike Hero. When Beatrice is asked if she wants a husband, she says “He that is more than a youth is not for me, and he that is less than a man, I am not for him” (II.i.30). Beatrice sets such high standards in order to preserve her independence and prevent the loss of her liberty. She doesn’t want to let someone else steer her to a previously chosen destiny. She let her freewill guide her to her own destiny. She doesn’t want to marry because she is afraid of losing the things that make her unique from other women. Another instance at which Beatrice shows that she enjoys her freedom is when she exclaims “would it not grieve a woman to be overmastered by a piece of valiant dust” (II.i.62). Not only is Beatrice mocking men by calling them nothing but dust, she is also implying that she doesn’t want to be overmastered because that would result in the loss of her distinctiveness, her independence. Being overmastered doesn’t only mean being controlled; it means that there are strict guidelines that have to be followed. Beatrice doesn’t want these implemented on her. She wants to be able to create her own guidelines. When asked if she would ever marry, Beatrice says “not till a hot January” (I.I.93). A hot January is nonexistent, which implies that her marriage is also nonexistent. Her freedom is so important to her that she wants to keep it forever and never lose her independence. The sting and pain of losing her freedom would be so heavy that she would rather live a life without a husband than lose her liberty. Through his portrayals of...

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