Imagine one on her knees pleading with someone she cares deeply about to confide in them their feelings and troubles. Perhaps it was a family member, a friend, or a significant other with whom she shares a deeply-rooted sentimental connection. What feelings would this evoke? Portia from The Tragedy of Julius Caesar set sail on the same rocky course in the churning seas of emotion. In Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Portia begs her beloved husband Brutus to share what has been consuming his mind, but he simply pushes her away and ignores her earnest requests. However, Portia is not so easily disheartened by her husband’s reluctance to allocate his private affairs. Being a strong-willed and constant wife, she persists to prove her worthiness and devotion to Brutus. Although Portia’s appearance in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is limited and many trivialize her character, she defies gender roles and stereotypes, develops Brutus’ character, and imitates men to add a sense of matriarchy to Shakespeare’s patriarch dominant play. Throughout history, society has viewed women as being inferior to men. Even today we still face issues regarding women's rights and roles in society. When Shakespeare wrote The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, his foremost reason of the incorporation of Portia was to assimilate a feminist aspect within the play. With this purpose in mind, Portia’s character boldly defies gender roles and typical stereotypes for women of the day. Portia
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In the play “Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare, women play an important role. The women are important factors in foreshadowing and in the development of many of the characters. To look at the role of women in the play we must look deeper in to the roles of the only two women in the play; Calpurnia, wife of Caesar, and Portia, wife of Brutus. Both of these women are key in foreshadowing the murder of Caesar. After Caesar’s murder we do not hear much of either of them.
Feminist critical lens examines certain texts with a primary focus on both gender’s relationship with each other and how such relationships demonstrate effects towards beliefs, behaviors, and values. This critical lens also examines a patriarchal-centered society and how such society define and interact with women with an emphasis on stereotypes of both genders that are present and evident in the text being analyzed. William Shakespeare’s Othello can be scrutinized through the feminist critical lens. A deep analysis focused on feminism of the play Othello paves way for the judgement of different societal status of women in the period when the play took place, the Elizabethan society. Othello is a best fit that demonstrates how men were
Gender stereotypes are not a modern notion and as such expectations and limitations have always existed for both men and women. Fortunately women, who have formerly beared great burdens of discrimination, now have very liberated roles in society as a result of slowly shifting attitudes and values. Shakespeare was integral in challenging the subservient role expected of women in the 16th century. Throughout the play, ‘The Merchant of Venice’, women are expressed as powerful characters who behave, speak and live in a way that breaks away from the conformist role of females during the 16th century. Therefore, the submissive stereotype expected of women in Shakespearean time is confronted and defied through
Shakespeare 's complex play Othello holds numerous pressing issues within its intricate layers that seem to leap out to modern society. One such issue seen by many is the representation of women. Women within the play can be characterized as submissive possessions and temptresses. This ideology, though commonplace in this time period, appears controversial to the modern eye as we deconstruct the characters of this play. This dominate patriarchal society present within the setting merely conditions this belief further as it is prevalent within the characters dialogue.
Othello, by William Shakespeare is well known for its richness in literary content and elements pertinent to societal ideas. Moreover, women are portrayed in Othello in ways that confirm, but also contradict their treatment in Shakespeare’s time. Both female action and language represent these ideas such as expectations for a wife and expectations for how a woman is to act. That said, there are many other lines spoken by these characters that defy the expectations placed on women at time. Overall, the feminist critical lens allows a reader to understand Othello and the manner in which it is slightly sexist and controversial. This lens allows the reader to observe both discrepancies of how women are treated, and common characteristics found
Throughout the length of Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello there is a steady undercurrent of sexism. It is originating from not one, but rather various male characters in the play, who manifest prejudicial, discriminatory attitudes toward women.
Shakespeare’s tragic drama Othello features sexism as regular fare – initially from Brabantio and Iago, and finally from Othello. Let us in this essay explore the occurrences and severity of sexism in the drama.
Throughout many pays and novels, women have had important roles of helping form the main characters, in the way they think, move or change the story. Women have always been subordinate to men all through history, but in plays, novels, short stories, etc, they have been given large enforcing roles, showing the power within women. William Shakespeare and Sophocles use guilt, pride, and influence to demonstrate the importance of the women’s role to support the main characters in both the plays of Macbeth and Antigone.
In the book “Gender Trouble” (1990), feminist theorist Judith Butler explains “gender is not only a social construct, but also a kind of performance such as a show we put on, a costume or disguise we wear” (Butler). In other words, gender is a performance, an act, and costumes, not the main aspect of essential identity. By understanding this theory of gender as an act, performance, we can see how gender has greatly impacted the outcome of the play in William Shakespeare’s Othello. From a careful analysis of the story, tragedy in Othello is result of violating expected gender roles, gender performance by Desdemona and Othello, and the result of Iago’s inability to tolerate these violations.
In William Shakespeare’s tragic play Othello there are numerous instances of obvious sexism aimed at the three women in the drama -- Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca – and aimed at womankind generally. Let us delve into this subject in this paper.
In a cast of over 30 characters, there are only two women. This is a statement describing the world renown play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. These two female characters are Calpurnia, the wife of Julius Ceasar, and Portia, the wife of Marcus Brutus. Other than these two women, the cast is composed entirely of male characters. In a work of literature so populated by men, one may ask why Shakespeare takes the time to include any women at all. However, after further reflection, it is clear to see the reason as to why they are included. Upon including Calpurnia and Portia in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare deepens our understanding of their husbands, highlights the social values of the time, and
From the expansion days of Ancient Rome to the fall of the Roman Empire, women have always succumbed to living subjacent to the status of their omnipotent and dominant male figures. After leaving her childhood home and the rule of her father, a young Roman girl would then be coerced into the dominion of her husband, often taking a plethora of roles, ranging from lover, caretaker, and best friend. It is often lightheartedly stated that, “Behind every great man is an even greater woman,” and William Shakespeare exemplifies this concept beautifully in Julius Caesar, in which he effectively used the spouses of the two main characters to add more depth, drama, and literary elements to the play, bringing it to life. Although the only two
For thousands of years, humanity has been ruled mainly by a Patriarchal society. In this society women have often been seen as objects or inferior humans through the eyes of their male counterparts. The Elizabethan era was no exception to these beliefs, and works of literature often supported these misogynistic views. In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, however, the author appears to portray the characters of Portia and Calphurnia in a positive light, ignoring the common stereotypes often associated with female characters. Although Portia and Calphurnia have minor parts in the play, their strength is discernible. Both female characters are portrayed as
Even though it is natural to share vulnerability with loved ones, Brutus’ personal troubles lead him to keep his secrets and feelings from his wife Portia as well. She senses that Brutus is anxious and is putting on an act when he is around others. “No, my Brutus, / You have some sick offense within your mind, / Which by the right and virtue of my place / I ought to
Shakespeare’s The Merchant Of Venice highlights the women’s tenacity, power, and brilliance. It indicates the playwright’s insight that women should be on equal ground as men. Portia is the character that defines feminist theory. During this time, feminism was not widely accepted, but he was able to write about a revolutionary woman, Portia, who was a character supporting feminism. He hid these ideas in a comedy because the government censored everything he wrote, and the feminist views could be seen as betrayal. By writing a play like the Merchant Of Venice, Shakespeare contributed to a new and risky view of feminism in the sixteenth century.