As such, it is the immature compulsions of his companions and his family that can be to blame for his elaborate and unnecessary state of mind, and thus, the essence of Hamlet’s insanity, lies in his desire to progress beyond his perception of the complacency of human imperfection.
In The Wife’s Lament, the wife is forced to exile. The wife reveals the feelings of suffering, regret, and loneliness. The wife’s misery began when her Lord left her behind. The Wife set out to find him but her Lord’s Kinsmen didn’t want them together anymore, and this is when the forced exile takes actions. “My man’s kinsmen began to plot by darkened thought to divide us two so we most widely in the world’s kingdom lived wretchedly and I suffered longing.” (Lines 11-15). The wife believes she will one day be reunited with her Lord so she moves away to new land. The wife then finds out her Lord wants to commit a crime. “Hiding his mood thinking of murder” (Line 20). This scares the wife and forces her to move into the woods under an Oak Tree. This shows the wife as weak which is not an Anglo-Saxon belief. The wife also believes a man who is weak should never show it, should always pretend to be fine. She believes this because men have the upper hand, they hold more power. A man who shows he’s weak has no belief as Anglo-Saxons. Anglo-Saxons think nobody should ever be weak, they should always be brave. It shows how she’s scared of her lord, so scared she runs into the woods and stays under an oak tree. This exile shows women have no power.
Emilia, a more progressive woman, speaks under her own authority in Act 5 Scene 2. However, Shakespeare shows how society treats women who speak freely. Her husband indefinitely silences her. The silencing of Emilia parallels society’s inability to accept societal changes and admit their mistakes. As a result of this, societal changes occur only after years of aggressive social reconditioning. The silencing of Emilia is dreadful for the audience because Iago is finally about to receive the consequences of his actions, yet, Emilia must die breaking social boundaries. The male superiority complex wants to be better than females and the act of silencing prevents females from voicing their opinions. When Emilia refers to Iago as a “fool [...] with so good a wife,” he lashes out at her (5.2.230). This act of silencing is a means of preventing people from knowing their flaws, as exhibited in this line. Instead of a character silencing females, Shelley silences Elizabeth as a representation of oppression. She continually permits Elizabeth to continue with her marriage despite not sharing her own thoughts. Rather, she subtly suggests that she is discontent. She cannot explicitly state that she does not want to marry because society dictates that she cannot speak freely. Shelley,
Medieval Jewish society, like all traditional Jewish culture, was run by patriarchal hierarchy “Philosophical, medical, and religious views of the time all supported the view that men were superior to women both in nature and in deed” . Women’s position in society was secondary in comparison to that of men. They were characterized as lightheaded, weak, easily seduced, and linked to sorcery.
The 12th Century romance of Abelard and Heloise sheds light on the harsh realities that women of the time had to face regarding rights to education, and freedom to love whomever they choose. Through her letters Heloise proves to be a notable intellect, especially given her uncle’s devotion to her education, which was not a given right for women at the time. Abelard, a dedicated and famed intellectual, becomes her tutor, then her lover. After Heloise’s affair with Abelard is revealed, she faces societal pressures to marry, or be doomed to a tarnished reputation. Abelard, however, faces the ruin of his reputation through marriage, which highlights how both women and marriage were highly looked down upon in academia at the time. Though the couple marries in secret, as to protect the reputation of Abelard, betrayals by family cause them to be separated by their respective vows to the Church. However, their relationship continues through their letters to each other and friends for the rest of their lives. Abelard’s lesser regard of women is indicated through the priority of his reputation over the fair treatment of Heloise, as seen through their various correspondences with respect to their courting and marriage.
Life was not easy for women and children in the middle ages. We have abusive spouse and such in today’s time period, but in the Middle Ages abuse was even encouraged “as a way to keep women under control” (Lawler). The children had it worse. The children of the Middle Ages, were abused by men, women and even servants to make them behave. In the Middle Ages, the law did not intervene. If you were a woman of upper class then you were lucky! They typical did not go through the abuse that the lower-class women did. As long as a man didn’t kill his wife during the abuse, he wasn’t doing anything wrong according to the Canon law. (Lawler)
During the eighteenth century, marriage was a representation of not only the unity between man and women but it was also a representation of a woman taking a servile, less meaningful role in the household. Once married, women were expected to be completely submissive to their husbands. This was the norm across Europe and even in enlightened society. These relationships were hierarchical. It was not customary for women to attend schools that educated men the math and sciences. Women holding privileged positons in society traditionally allotted to men were seen as the exception. Yet these exceptions did not generally bother society because they did not lead to certain conclusion that women could do anything. In Gotthold Lessing’s novel “Nathan the Wise” and Francoise de Graffigny’s “Letters from a Peruvian Woman”, both authors upset traditional expectations about what constitutes a novel’s happy ending by refusing to end either of their novels with weddings. In Lessing’s “Nathan the Wise”, the rejection of marriage plot reflects a larger symbolic representation of religious tolerance. While in Graffigny’s novel “Letters from a Peruvian Woman”, the rejection of marriage plots illustrates a woman whose circumstances would make her the exception. Zilia, Graffigny’s main character, was an enlightened woman who chose sovereignty over servitude. Therefore, I would argue that the intentions behind both Lessing and Graffigny’s rejection of the marriage plot was not to serve the same
The medieval church taught that women were inferior to men and that they should be compliant and obedient to their fathers and husbands. Men look down to women as their respect for their ladies are limited as in Canterbury Tales were these women start out as beneath men. These same men who feel the need to arrogate women of their dignity find their fate is later put into the women’s hands. Although a women is taciturn and does not speak out to the men and talk of their animadversion toward the men’s behavior, these same ladies have the power to then decide how these men should serve their punishment for their sacrileges and unruly decisions as in the “Wife of Bath’s Tale”, were after his life was saved by an old lady, in return this old women requested to him to “take me as your wife” (p.138). A women’s love and passion should be approached with appreciation and admiration otherwise being inconsiderate and impassionate will turn a women against a man.
Centuries ago in Elizabethan England there were many traditions about marriage and the treatment of women. One strong tradition of these times was the practice of marriage between races. Interracial marriages were considered extremely taboo. (High Beam). In this era marriages were arranged by the parents with strong help from the local church. The individuals had little choice as to who they would marry. (Elizabethan England Life). Yet another example of these traditions was the respectable treatment of women. While the husband was in charge of his wife, as was the father, the husband were expected to treat the women right (Elizbethi). In spurning all of these traditions, Shakespeare demonstrates a view of marriage far different from that
Eleanor of Aquitaine has been one of the most renowned women or ‘she-wolves’ in medieval history, fascinating historians for over 800 years. She was the heiress to the region of Aquitaine in Southern France, she became the queen of France, by marrying Louis VII and later of England by marrying Henry II. She was also the mother of two of England’s kings, Richard I and John. She has been associated with the crusades, the development of courtly love and the Plantegenet-Capetian conflict. However, there is very little evidence about her life from primary historians. This has lead historians and novelists to speculate and create a character different to the real Eleanor: she ‘has been a victim of both a black legend and beneficiary of an embellished
During the reign of King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, France and England were in constant controversy over land. Battles were ongoing and the two kingdoms boundaries were continually shifting. At this time period, women were almost always under the thumb of men, which is what made Eleanor of Aquitaine so unique. She was a 12th century women who held a surprising amount of power. Be that as it may, the rarity of her situation and the gender inequalities of the time had caused her to be characterized as a vicious and scheming women. Many people of her age even considered her a murderer. Henry’s behavior, although it is nearly identical to what Eleanor is accused of, is excused as normal practices of a king, showing just how unfairly Eleanor has been treated by history.
Throughout the letters, Abelard and Heloise’s perspectives on gender roles were strictly based upon the traditional views on sexuality. For instance, in the egotistical mind of Abelard, women in the medieval society were viewed as a weaker sex who need help of the a stronger male since there were certainly things that “cannot be carried out by women”5. Moreover, Heloise, despite her being a woman, did not seem to be shocked at the idea that men are superior to women. Instead, she instinctively acknowledged the weaker nature of women indicated by her discussion of her abbey which she called “feminine”; she also described it as weak, frail, and needing a more careful attention6. Throughout the first four letters from Abelard and Heloise, they both held congruent views regarding masculinity and femininity, and this dichotomous way of looking at gender indeed did not deviate much from the conventional thinking of the medieval society.
She is seen as a weak and fickle woman. When her ship wrecks, &#8220;she felt the need of advice'; (49). Alatiel doesn&#8217;t know how to do things on her own. She has always had servants to help her. After Alatiel realizes all that happened to the ship and everyone on it she &#8220;weeps bitterly'; (49). At this point Alatiel&#8217;s unbelievable adventures begin. She is taken to Pericone&#8217;s house. Pericone falls in love with her and wants to sleep with her. Alatiel tells her servants that &#8220;she herself had decided never to let anyone but her husband enjoy her'; (50). Pericone gets Alatiel drunk and into bed with him. Alatiel&#8217;s values aren&#8217;t so strong because Pericone gets her to sleep with him. After she loses her virginity &#8220;she often invited herself not with words&#8230;but with actions'; to Pericone (51). When Alatiel is taken from Pericone by Marato, she weeps but is soon comforted &#8220;with the assistance of the holy Stiff-in-hand God gave to man';(52). It doesn&#8217;t take much to comfort Alatiel. In the beginning of the story she doesn&#8217;t want to sleep with a man that is not her husband. By the first man Alatiel encounters her views on sex have changed. Alatiel&#8217;s adventures do not stop after two men. When Marato loses Alatiel the prince of Morea gets her. It doesn&#8217;t take Alatiel long to get over Marato.
“Whereas the senecan tyrant rages against virtue in the name of ambition, or lust, R.B.Pierce argues that Richard, ‘like the formal vice, Iniquity’ (III.i.82), thrives by an ironic detachment from all the standards of traditional morality including the claims of the family” (Robert.B.Pierce, 1971:90-91) Shakespeare in his play, Richard III, added a physical deformity to incite people to see his plays. A both deformed and mobile character was found to be a scary monster.
To make a good match, Elizabethan women were expected to hold values such as “...patience, chastity, reticence, humbleness, modesty, faithfulness, self-control, goodness, sympathy, and compassion.” (Ahsan 12); Men, however, could themselves be “...drunkards, womanizers, gamblers…” (Ahsan 12) and still be able to find dutiful wives. Another subject in which men and women of this era had different experiences with is premarital sex. There would be no consequences for a man if he chose to have sex before marriage because it was seen as “...a mild offense and pardonable for men.” (Smith 99). And yet, if a woman chose to have premarital sex, her life would practically be ruined because “...their value as commodities decreases enormously if they are thought to be unchaste…” (Smith 100). This double standard between the genders in the Elizabethan era shows that women led a much more confined life than men.