Gender Inequality In Much Ado About Nothing By William Shakespeare

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Gender politics: Shakespeare pushes the gender boundaries in Much Ado About Nothing as men were considered very much superior to women. Expectations of how they should behave was based on gender and class in society. Women were seen and not heard and were referred to constantly throughout the play as objects, untrustworthy,submissive and unfaithful. Men however, were seen as brave, and honourable. Honour is everything. Men's loyalties were governed by codes of honour and male friendship. Men were able to win their honour back, but once a woman's honour is destroyed, so is her family's. Eg: Act 4 Scene 1 "O that I were a man for his sake" " I cannot be a man with wishing, therefore I die a woman with grieving". Shakespeare creates Beatrice's character in order to bring opposition to the "traditional woman" and shows that there is gender inequality. Eg: In Act 1 Scene 1 Beatrice critizises Benedict to the messenger for then Leonarto embarrassed feels he must apologize on her behalf, and tries to belittle the situaltion and dismiss what she has said. Although this is her opinion it does not conform to society expectations of the time. Beatrice and Benedict continuously throughout the play banter back and forth with insults until Benedict who is unable to handle a woman insulting him gives up. Beatrice refuses to marry because she wants an equal partner and is unwilling to hand over her control and freedom to a husband.He believes that once married all women become

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