The Elizabethan View Of Women Essay

1657 words - 7 pages

The Elizabethan View of Women Women in Elizabethan times had few rights or luxuries. Their entire lifestyles depended upon that of their husbands, picked out for them by their fathers. They had almost no say in their lives, and they were expected to be thankful for having someone to rule over them. This is made abundantly clear by Katherina's famous speech in 5.2.137-180 of The Taming of the Shrew. She compares a woman's proper devotion to her husband to that a subject owes a prince, saying that the man provides everything for the woman, and the least she owes him is her complete obedience. While the play is sometimes seen as man's tyranny over woman, it is in fact representing the conventional role women played. In Elizabethan England it was almost universally accepted that this was a God-given right, confirmed in the Bible. A husband was expected to dominate his wife in all things, just as a king could dictate to a citizen or a human being could control an animal. (Boyce) Much of the humor in The Taming of the Shrew is derived from the interplay of the enduring relationship between men and women and the role that Elizabethan society dictated women should play. It was Katherina's rejection of that role and how Petruchio deals with it that the play centers on. His strategy - which is to treat her as if nothing is good enough for her, to the extent that she is not allowed to eat "inferior" meals - is to tame her as he would a "wild falcon." And, as the conventions of the time demanded, she is "tamed" by the end of the story. Pertruchio's need to tame her reflects upon the prevailing stereotypes of the time. The man was supposed to be in charge. If his wife or daughter didn't obey him, it reflected poorly on his masculinity.In the Twelfth Night, the audience is shown that the only way Viola can make it through the alien land she winds up in is to assume the trappings of masculinity. "Conceal me what I am; and be my aid/ For such disguise as haply shall become/ The form of my intent. I'll serve this duke:/ Thou shalt present me as an eunuch to him:/ It may be worth thy pains; for I can sing,/ And speak to him in many sorts of music,/ That will allow me very worth his service."(1.2.53-60) The clothing she wears and her somewhat modified behavior allow her all the privileges of manhood. Her doublet and hose act as her passport and provide her with a livelihood, a love interest, and friendship. We are led to believe that the only way she could survive would be to take on a male persona.(Mullenix) Shakespeare's works are not a commentary on the view of women, they are merely records of a time long past. Although Shakespeare appears to accept the role of women in his society, he is not so blind to human nature that he neglects their appearance in his works. Indeed, it is common for a woman to have a leading - or at least pivotal - role in his plays. Women were used to teach the men a lesson or to keep them on the right track. For example, the women...

Find Another Essay On The Elizabethan View Of Women

Inventions of the Elizabethan Era Essay

1525 words - 6 pages in 1604. Dictionaries became much more useful as more and more words were added to them, and they are still used in modern society today. From dictionaries to toilets, the inventions of the Elizabethan era have done quite a lot to improve the world. We as humans have become much cleaner and well-educated than we have ever been (even if it doesn’t seem like that at times). Inventors and their inventions continue to help shape society today. And, with any luck, we’ll be prepared the next time we have a plague.

Gender Expectations and Women´s Role During the Elizabethan Era

1198 words - 5 pages Introduction Gender expectations limited personal choice to a great extent during the Elizabethan Era. The Elizabethan Era was the period in which Elizabeth I ruled England from 1558-1603. There was a strong view on women should be the property of men and must obey them. William Shakespeare influenced this time period massively and incorporated the different gender roles and expectations into his plays. Personal is defined as something

Women in Elizabethan England and Shakespeare's Miranda in The Tempest

3502 words - 14 pages Women in Elizabethan England and Shakespeare's Miranda in The Tempest Treatment of women has evolved much since Elizabethan England. As a preface to the dissection of The Tempest – in particular, the character of Miranda, Shakespeare’s role for women as a whole must be addressed. According to Carolyn Ruth Swift Lenz’s introduction of Woman’s Part, “patriarchal order takes different forms and is portrayed with varying degrees of emphasis

In the Elizabethan era women are portrayed as less than equals to men - "Taming of the Shrew" by Shakespeare

1163 words - 5 pages only to be of marital preparation as the only career option for a women would be marriage. All Elizabethan women would be expected to marry, and would be dependant on her male relatives throughout her life. Shakespeare often tried to justify the role of women in his plays by creating rebellious characters such as Katherine.In this play Petruchio was planning to marry Kate for this very reason:Petruchio act1 Scene 2 line 53-54"Happily to wive and

The Elizabethan Era: The Reign of Queen

924 words - 4 pages that was abnormal; the dress code of the era was extreme as well. Next, the attire of the Elizabethan period was strict, important, and elegant. In the article “Daily Life in Elizabethan Era” it emphasizes “The Elizabethan Era is known for the celebrate outfits that men and women wore to court and elite social functions” (Benson 187). Their dressing was to be a certain way and very detailed. Back in this time period, the events were huge and

The Elizabethan Era: The Rebirth of England

1106 words - 4 pages It all began with the travesty that is it bubonic plague. Transported by fleas on rodents, thousands of people’s lives were lost before it was all over. After the plague, Western Europe went through a period of “rebirth”- called the Renaissance. This time period was ruled by the esteemed Queen Elizabeth I and is also called the Elizabethan Era. As the Elizabethan Era was an age of great chance, much advancement was made in the fields of science

Solution to the Media’s Negative View of Women

1786 words - 8 pages with a beautiful face, but an “even-toned” body with a “smooth texture” that is supposed to look “radiant and resilient” ” (Wegenstein 89). Media should do a better job of getting away from the typical view of women. As one browses television, the web, or a fashion magazine, women who define the stereotypical “woman.”Various weight loss supplements that promise to burn fat to achieve a lean slimmer body are also promoted along with these images

Chaucer's View of Women Exposed in The Canterbury Tales

737 words - 3 pages is her own ideal of what a woman should be. By gaining sovereignty, she has the power. Chaucer has presented us with a fresh view of women, uncharacteristic of his time. The Wife of Bath is unique, and her defining qualities allow what the author thinks of women to reveal itself clearly. She is an immoral woman who has done whatever she has needed to do to get what she wants, and the author makes no apologies.

Taming of the Shrew- Elizabethan Perspective

558 words - 2 pages many disguises used by the characters and finally the puns and various dialogue used by the characters.A major aspect of why this play would by humorous to a Elizabethan audience is because of the manner in which Katherine is 'tamed' by Petruchio. Kate is originally a rough, headstrong women who tyrannises over her sister and defies the Elizabethan view of a wife. She is regarded as a shrew, and Petruchio, her husband has to 'tame' her. The manner

A Man's View of Women

1746 words - 7 pages devices that satisfy the needs of men. When Lil Wayne says, “I’m on that good Kush and alcohol I got some down bitches I can call,” he is saying that women will come to him as he pleases. When he is referring to “down bitches,” he’s talking about how women submissively come to him without him having to try. Lil Wayne sees women as weak and dependent on men. The video portrays women as objects and gives a view of how women are seen through the

Everyday Life of the Elizabethan Era

654 words - 3 pages flame some of the utensils for this were pot, pans, kettles, skillets, and cauldrons. To prepare the food a range of knives, women, meats, folks, and scissors were used. Instead of baking tin, Elizabethan cook’s used a baking tray made of hardened pastry which was unervingly called a coffin. The mortar and pestle were essential cooking utensils for the cooks who used nuts and spices in their recipes. Did people in the Elizabethan Era have

Similar Essays

Discrimination Of Women During The Elizabethan Era

1221 words - 5 pages Throughout the Elizabethan era, men had more advantages than women. William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew has characters such as Petruchio, Baptista, Katherine, and Bianca that show how men overpowered women. During the Elizabethan era, there was heavy sexism. Women were discriminated. Through Shakespeare’s language, men could speak to and about women in a disrespectful and derogatory manner. Women were voiceless and deprived of

Women Changing The View Of The Military

1135 words - 5 pages The military has mostly been dominated by men; the women have also had history of military success. For example, during the second world war, the women were mostly serving as nurses (Manila Bulletin). Women have come far from being nurses during world war II to being able to hold any positions. Some women can be in almost any position. Now women are found on the fronts lines. Also, during World War II, women who were nurses at Pearl

History Of The Elizabethan Theater Essay

2520 words - 11 pages . A physician in 1660 stated the actor’s condition was worse then it seemed; “They also had unpleasant facial skin diseases and actors actually died of lead poisoning.” In addition to the boys wearing make-up they also dressed in women’s clothing. As a result of young boys wearing women’s clothes there was some tension between the Elizabethan theater and some clergymen who argued that it was sinful for men to dress as women. Those clergymen

Music Of The Elizabethan Era Essay

715 words - 3 pages The Elizabethan Era, named for Queen Elizabeth I, the reigning queen of England from 1558 to 1603 is also known as The Golden Age of English History. This was a time in which music flourished along with other art forms including literature, painting, sculpting, fashion and architecture. Music during this era played a significant role in the lives of citizens from all social classes and also led to many composers and songs becoming famous