Analysis Of Shakespeare 's ' The Winter 's Tale '

Decent Essays

Though the idea that women should be subservient is pervasive in Renaissance literature, Shakespeare challenges this concept in The Winter’s Tale by providing evidence to the contrary.
His female characters are able to gain power using different techniques according to their situations. However, these methods vary greatly between the court of the shepherd in Bohemia and Leontes’ court in Sicilia. While women in the royal court gain influence through their use of effective rhetoric, Shakespeare describes that Perdita’s power in the shepherd’s court stems mostly from her beauty. From this juxtaposition, Shakespeare claims that women in a lower-class setting are empowered by their appearance while women in an upper-class setting use language to affect change. Furthermore, Shakespeare also expresses his contention that men believe in an opposite system of empowerment according to their social class. He argues that gentlemen associate power with appearance and view rhetoric as unimportant while lower-class men put more emphasis on language as a means of empowerment. Overall, Shakespeare provides an argument that women are empowered through different methods depending on their socioeconomic standing. Conversely, Shakespeare also expresses the notion that men do not follow the same pattern as women.
Shakespeare conveys his belief that women gain influence in the royal court through the use of language by displaying Paulina’s ability to control men using her speech. After Hermione

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