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Henry Anderson Essay

1056 words - 5 pages

The Historical Accuracy of Shakespeare
The works of Shakespeare are reference often in Modern Novels, newspapers, and in Television; a good question any person should ask though is the validity and accuracy of the portrayal of the time in thoughts, actions, and rights. As many know William Shakespeare was a writer of the 16th century, creating many famous works such as Romeo and Juliet. However, not all the writings but most in these works were historically accurate at the time, as it is possible Shakespeare was using them as plot devices.
Often in Shakespeare’s works references of God’s of the time are seen, sometimes they were portrayed correctly, and sometimes they were written to help ...view middle of the document...

Even the Family relations in Shakespeare’s writings were not accurate, portrayed incorrectly and doing things uncommon for the time. Interestingly enough, the family matters of things like Juliet’s age for marrying were uncommon as “The marriage age was surprisingly late…. For girls 25-26 and boys 28-29” (Papp and Kirkland sec. 8) and her parents asked for her to marry. This shows that Juliet’s marriage was probably used to add to the plot, showing an inexperienced couples marrying at an early age as a plot device for irony. As the marriage age was so far off, it’s questionable if any other family relations of Shakespeare’s novels were true of the relations. Even people like the Nurse from Romeo and Juliet was not accurate to an extent as “The mother usually took care of breastfeeding the infant, however many upper class women… shipped their babies off to a wet nurse, paying her to do it” (Papp and Kirkland sec. 8). However, this would involve Juliet not being raised in her home for the first years of her life, contradictory to the novel. This would involve the fact that the Nurse would not have stayed with Juliet in her later years of her life another inaccuracy as the Nurse is still with Juliet throughout the novel. Again showing that the family relations were not portrayed correctly and that Shakespeare’s writings were not accurate enough to be used for anything important, or believed on an academic level.
Another thing to note is the treatment of women and their actions and roles in Shakespeare’s writings which again were accurate, to an extent but not a scholarly extent. As “Women were denied freedom of mind and their identities were confined within a domestic fortress” (Rosenthal para. 2). Of course this coincides with the fact that neither Juliet from Romeo and Juliet or Hermia from A Mid-Summers Night Dream has a relative choice in the matter about who they may marry, however they instead decide to go against the wishes...

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