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“Shakespeare’s Sister”: A Different Perspective Essay

703 words - 3 pages

“Shakespeare’s Sister” exemplifies critical elements most essays should possess by making a point in a very effective way. In the essay, “Shakespeare’s Sister,” Virginia Woolf creates a fictional story to persuade her readers. The essay creates a story to exemplify women’s roles in the renaissance era. She creates a what-if situation of Shakespeare having a sister. The story demonstrates women’s inequalities during his time, and examples of these situations. “Shakespeare’s Sister” is an effective essay because of customary word choice, use of hypothetical situations, and vivid story telling.
Woolf’s use of sentimental word choice shows the roles women played in Shakespeare’s time. Judith, Woolf’s fictional character, attempts to join the local theatre, but gets an unsatisfying response from the owner of the theatre. The author informs how Judith is regarded, “he bellowed something about poodles dancing and women acting—no women, he said, could possible be an actress” (566). Women in Shakespeare’s time were looked down upon talented or not. Although unfortunate, this is not the last time men disrespected Judith for her gender. In Judith’s demise she is regarded like that of an animal would. Woolf notes that Judith “killed herself one winter’s night and lies buried at some cross-roads where the omnibuses now stop outside the Elephant and Castle” (566). The way Judith’s regarded upon death creates a sense of sympathy. The word choice Woolf displays defines the customs for the time, and helps the reader obtain a deeper understanding.
The author’s creation of a hypothetical situation tells that women did not have the same opportunities. The hypothetical situation in Woolf’s essay demonstrates the everyday lifestyle of the time flawlessly. Woolf informs the reader, “let me imagine, since facts are so hard to come by, what would have happened had Shakespeare had a wonderfully gifted sister, called Judith, let us say” (565). The women of the time were seldomly recognized for greatness in anything because of men looking down upon them. Not only did men neglect women, but men also stunted women’s educational opportunities. Women of Shakespeare’s time never had the chance to do the same...

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