Gender Relations During The Jacobean Period

864 Words Aug 12th, 2015 4 Pages
Deconstructing Gender Relations Gender in the Jacobean Period was approached differently than gender in the 18th century. One can use the Jacobean period play Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare and the 18th century play The Beaux Stratagem by George Farquhar to examine gender relations during the two periods. The plays demonstrate how women were represented in society and what societal expectations were at the time. The way women navigated their own sexuality, finances, and power relation’s improved noticeably from the Jacobean Period to the 18th century. During the Jacobean Period women were not allowed to preform in theatres; all of the players were men and boys (Spear 13). Because of the violent nature of theatres women didn’t attend plays as ‘Groundlings’ and few could afford to sit above in the covered seats above. The theatre was a place for corruption and immorality and women were looked down upon during the Jacobean Period for attending performances in playhouses around London. The theatre was a harsh place where audience members were tightly packed in. They would hiss, shout, and throw rotten vegetables at actors they disliked or applaud and clap for those they approved of (Spear 14). The play Measure for Measure shows the powerlessness of women during the Jacobean Period. The female characters in the play are helpless in determining their fates. The central female character in Measure for Measure, Isabella, has been both idealized as an ideal woman…
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