Significance Of The Attire Of Men And Women In The 18th Century

1104 words - 4 pages

Significance of the Attire of Men and Women in the 18th Century

The attire of men and women in the eighteenth century cemented the roles they were supposed to play. The style of made dress belied his nature as somewhat more free from restrictions whereas the woman, bound by corsets and strict dress-codes found herself held back in clothing as in society. A sphere of influence, behavior and conduct was assigned to both sexes; each was valued for different qualities. These gender distinctions do not allow any overlap between the two sexes. (Marsden, 21) In light of this, society viewed cross-dressing (the practice of one gender dressing themselves in the attire of the other) as a threat to its own structure. For a woman to forsake the clothes and character of women for that of men sounded monstrous. Such a practice would create sexual ambiguity - a woman would assume the clothes of a man and thus the manner and actions of a man, yet her physical nature denied her that right. Cross-dressing creates monstrations - a woman ceases to be a woman after she has assumed male garb and can never hope to be a man.

An aversion to cross-dressing has its roots in the Bible: "The women shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment; for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God" (qtd. in Garber, 28). On August 13, 1597 Queen Elizabeth announced a sumptuary (dealing with attire) proclamation which defined the "separate categories for men's and women's apparel: each took the form of a long list of proscribed items of dress with an indication of who alone was permitted to wear them" (Garber, 26). This law sought to prohibit the rise in classes that was transpiring - ambitious individuals began to dress as finely as the upper class. Later on, this proclamation would be sighted in cases of dressing 'above' one's gender.

The theater had accepted male cross-dressing from Shakespeare's time as necessary. The sight of 'boys' (term used to describe the men who played the women's part) incited the wrath of Puritans and thus, women were allowed into theater. (Garber, 29) Few women were actually caught disguised in men's clothing. However, if caught in such an uncompromising situation without a valid excuse (types of excuses eighteenth century society deemed valid are included further down the page), women would expect severe punishments. In cases where women dressed in male attire for acting (as in the case of an actress playing the part of Rosalind in Shakespeare's As You Like It or Viola in his Twelfth Night), for attaining the love of her husband, or for her country (as a soldier to go to war), society forgave the act, Several female saints of the Middle Ages poised as men, including St. Joan, St. Anna, St. Wilgefortis. (Garber, 213-214) St. Joan was put to trial by the Inquisition for her cross-dressing. If caught in men's clothing, the authorities "blinded [the women] in the pillory, displayed...

Find Another Essay On Significance of the Attire of Men and Women in the 18th Century

The Significance of the Opening in Of Mice and Men

1457 words - 6 pages The Significance of the Opening in Of Mice and Men The novel opening is scene setting; Steinbeck wrote it with lots of descriptive words with many colour words, "yellow sands" and "white, recumbent limbs." The first page concentrates on natural beauty, with no mention of anything man-made. The beginning of the text must be calm and peaceful to contrast with the more violent and upsetting end. The opening scene is

The Order of the Illuminati in the 18th Century

2366 words - 9 pages based. The 18th Century Enlightenment period was full of philosophers that believed there were more to human morals than creationism. The flow of time, space, and factual based evidence influenced 18th Century philosophers. They were well-known to create their own societies based on scientific belief. Part I: Influence on Today’s Society In today’s society, the illusions of the Illuminati has had great impact. Robert Anton Wilson was

The Significance of Dreams in "Of Mice and Men"

841 words - 3 pages A major motif of John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" is the American dream and the drive to attain it. The life of a ranch hand is grim, yet the characters in the novel are still vulnerable to dreams of a better life. The dream of owning land, called the American dream by some, is what motivates George and Lennie in their work on the ranch. It is their friendship that sustains this dream and makes it possible. While the dreams are credible to the

Prison system of the 18th and the early 19th century

566 words - 2 pages system believed that isolation was the only way for a prisoner is rehabilitated.Prison system of the 18th and early 19th century left a reasonable quantity of dead prisoners and also physical abuse to the inmate. The crime that any prisoner has committed doesn't justify the cruel and inhumane treatment they receive in jail. If the founders of the prison system from that time of period wouldn't have been so cruel, they would had avoid so many death and people being maltreated. Instead of merciless punishment they should had given them social work as their sentence and should had taken advantage from the prisoners keeping in mind that they are human beings.

This essay is about the difference between men and women, especially in the 20th century

2671 words - 11 pages diskuterer en flok kvinder "Hvad er en mand?". Sapho beklager at nogle mænd ikke engang kan føre en flydende samtale. Sidsel syntes at mænd er smukkest i 17 - 22 års alderen, men tilføjer at hun selv nok skulle vælge en noget ældre fyr: "I den alder er de fleste parate til at etablere sig, hvilket er af fordel, hvis man som kvinde har et biologisk ur der tikker." I en anden tråd p&aring

The challenges of the Dutch Republic in the 17th and 18th century

720 words - 3 pages During the late 17th century and early into the 18th century, the security, unity, and prosperity of the Dutch Republic were challenged. The Dutch faced many problems, such as trade being hindered because of naval battles, the government and economy being torn apart from the economic problems, and the lack of money being made because of the cost of war and lack of trade profits.The Dutch were short of security during this time period because of

Compare and contrast of the 18th and 19th century in America: econ/social/polit

670 words - 3 pages Thesis: The 18th and 19th century were drastically contrasting eras of social and political evolvement but comparable in the successive mentality of economic expansion.New advantages in natural resources in the United States brought striking transitions in the economic stance of the nation and developed into distinct eras. The coal era of the 18th century was marked by the usage of coal as a main source of energy, heat, and transportation. The

The Importance of 17th and 18th Century Literature and Literature in its Entirety

754 words - 4 pages Kepler’s Law, William Shakespeare was perfecting blank verse. Pen to paper was seen as more beneficial than the realizing the importance of earth’s orbital motion. The 17th and 18th centuries were the times of such profound literature such as The Tragical History of Doctor Faust, Macbeth, Gulliver’s Travels, and Paradise Lost. Without these works, we would not know greatness. During the 17th and the 18th century, some of the greatest works in

Peasants in the 18th Century

880 words - 4 pages and 18th centuries vary from 580 to 672 deaths out of every one thousand births, due to sanitation and lack of decent technology (110). The eighteenth century was a time of revolution in which even poor peasants were given the opportunity to excel and become wealthy, but the struggling peasants at the bottom rarely saw changes, in which their life was a constant battle. These peasants were treated as mere cattle, and therefore went through tremendous hardships and struggle. These men, women, and children faced poverty, malnutrition, and death in their everyday lives. Through these struggles a new culture arose that represented the majority of France.

Significance of the Women in Sophocles' Antigone

2556 words - 10 pages Significance of the Women in Antigone                 Michael J. O’Brien in the Introduction to Twentieth Century Interpretations of Oedipus Rex, maintains that there is “a good deal of evidence to support this view” that the fifth century playwright was the “educator of his people” and a “teacher” (4). Sophocles in his tragedy Antigone teaches about “morally desirable attitudes and behavior,” (4) and uses a woman as heroine and another

Significance of the Women in Oedipus Rex

2769 words - 11 pages Significance of the Women in Oedipus Rex            Michael J. O’Brien in the Introduction to Twentieth Century Interpretations of Oedipus Rex, maintains that there is “a good deal of evidence to support this view” that the fifth century playwright was the “educator of his people” and a “teacher”. Sophocles in his tragedy, Oedipus Rex, teaches about “morally desirable attitudes and behavior,” (4) and uses three women to help convey these

Similar Essays

The Rights Of Women In 18th Century America

864 words - 3 pages The Rights of Women in 18th Century America On July 4, 1804, a group of young men in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, offered a series of toasts to commemorate the nation's independence. Among their testimonials, they offered one to a cherished ideal:"[To] the rights of men, and the rights of women-. May the former never be infringed, nor the latter curtailed." The men acknowledged, even celebrated, an innovative and controversial idea: women

Women Today Compared With Women Of The 18th Century

696 words - 3 pages everyone with similarities, even down to appearance and hygiene. Note from your instructor: This paper earned a 55/100. Women vs. Women Thesis: Women in the 18th century are similar yet different from the women of today I. Fashion A. Attire for the 1800’s, dresses/corsets. 1. Consequences of corsets. B. Attire for the 2000’s century. C

Hamiltonianism Vs Jeffersonianism. America During The Late 18th Century The Fate Of Country Lay In The Hands Of Two Men

2096 words - 8 pages America during the late 18th century was a time of radical changes. America was justthen breaking its ties with a forceful British rule. The condition of the country was tryingenough to the fortitude and constancy of the patriots. How remarkable to consider for amoment, that the fate of this great country lay in the hands of men.In this group of fashioned leaders were two names, not the oldest or most distinguished inthe history of America, but

How The Societal Expectations Of Women In The 18th Century Mirrored America's Hopes For A Prosperous Republic

920 words - 4 pages and probably exposed some deep and dark desires that women had inside of them to be free of the social stigmas that bound them. The only problem with this was a woman could not support herself alone in the 18th century, and this free and fancifulness could lead to bastard children. Not only could a woman not support a fatherless child but also she would basically be outcast from any possibility of marrying a suitor. Men and Women were expected