When one thinks about women, the same basic thoughts always cross through men's mind. Too many men fit women into the same standard roles of cooking, cleaning, and catering to men. Historically throughout time the role of a woman has been lesser than that of man. Those thoughts have progressively changed with time, but have yet to reach the equality sought out by every woman. Thoughts such as those mentioned above are prevalent in literature, with most female characters following the same mold of traits and intelligence in every novel. Women historically have had to conform to specific stereotypical roles, which are often reflected in literature.
Women had never had it easy, and that is ...view middle of the document...
During the time it was expected that women were to be seen and not heard. Because of the ideas and lifestyle of the times it was important for women to be as close to perfect as possible, that meant that women were to be “prim and proper“. One site claim’s that it was important for females of the time to be the “ideal woman” (Cloud, Gender Roles of Women in the Renaissance). Females were able to speak their minds but their thoughts and ideas were shaped by men, so everything a women did had the input from the men around her. It did not matter if it was the parents, siblings, or husband of the women each had their own level of control over the life of the woman. Women were controlled by their parents from the day they were born. Once the woman married the husband would take over control because women were property once married.
Though the women of the Renaissance were inferior to men, women in different classes had different roles although no role compared to one belonging to a male. Low class women were housewives meaning they took care of everything in the house, while working class women worked for their husbands and helped them run their business. Upper class women may have had servants and workers working for them depending on how fortunate they were, but overall were still expected to take care of the house hold (Cloud, Gender Roles of Women in the Renaissance). It was very frowned upon for a women to remain single so if she was single she lived with her family or became a nun.
The situation for women started to head in a positive direction with the Enlightenment Era, but it was still nowhere equal to the position of men. A the time it became acceptable for women to then sit in at meetings to discuss the ideas of enlightenment movement at places such as coffeehouses, but the women present were not allowed to express their opinions out loud. Some women even had roles in salons and coffeehouses like the ones mentioned above, the women would act as hostesses holding the debates and facilitate the meetings (Enlightenment Period). It was also common of the time for the thoughts and opinions of men attending the debates to belong to their wives. The role of women in the Enlightenment era also changed because some women gained prominence in the scientific community. Margaret Cavendish was the first women to attended a meeting of the Royal Society of London, a scientific society. (Ferry, Women in Science). Though there are not many significant achievements made by women of the time, women were still persisting in their case to be taken more seriously.
Once the time hit the Romantic Period, women had taken a new role in the world, one geared towards literature. Female poets became popular during the time. Women like Mary Robinson and Ann Yearsley were poets of the Romantic Period who had to write under titles like “by a lady” or other names to hide their true identity (Feldman, Women Poets and Anonymity).
Women also heavily advocated for...