Analysis Of ' Love 's Labour 's Lost And Much Ado About Nothing Essay

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To David Underdown, the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century should be described as a period that involved a “crisis in gender relations” (Underdown 1, Eales 1) With that said, Shakespeare had been writing and/or staging the bulk of his works during this period of crisis. In both Love’s Labour’s Lost and Much Ado About Nothing he explores, and by doing so challenges, the centuries notions of proper masculine and feminine behaviour. One, and if not the most, notable disputes that Shakespeare makes with his characters in these two plays is that of wit and intelligence; Women, who were generally regarded as the less intellectual gender are shown in these plays to have great wit and can manipulate language to their advantage. Adversely, Don Adriano De Armado and Costard exhibit their lack of anything of the sort. Furthermore, Dogberry (Even if he qualifies as a purely comedic character) realizes the importance of eloquence and intelligence in man and yet puts forth anything but. Another testament to adverse gender roles is in the fact that women are seen to be in positions of control with regards to their relationships (i.e., the princess, Rosaline, Beatrice) and this control over their male counterparts is a means for power. As previously stated, the women are in practical control over their relationships, but they also seem to be in emotional control. The men let their passions take over, which the reader will later see was something to be avoided regarding their
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