When interpreted from a feministic perspective, it is apparent that the story of King Lear and The Winter’s Tale contains misogynistic implications. While the three sisters in King Lear were fallen victims to the misogynistic societal needs, Hermoine in The Winter’s Tale also suffered from temptress accusations. The ingratitude that the women endured from male authorities who viewed women stereotypically, claims how both plays challenged gender roles and suggested that women were wicked, sexually deviant, and the cause of all issues. Moreover, women who lived during the Shakespearean period like the female protagonist in these plays, lived in misogynistic society’s due to the lack of equality that was implemented during this time period. In the Shakespearean play, King Lear, the feministic attributes were tested when Lear asked his three daughters, “which of you shall we say doth with merit challenge” (1.1.49-51) which legitimized a man’s authority over women by using a women’s emotions to boost a man’s ego. If Lear had three sons rather than three daughters, receiving affection to get the “largest bounty” (1.1.50) would not have occurred but because women were portrayed as emotional, Lear quantifying the love that each daughter had for him was appropriate. This demonstrates the first misogynistic approach towards women in King Lear. When each daughter displayed their affection towards their father, Lear’s most faithful daughter, Cordelia elaborated that there was no way
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In the modern 21sr century, the roles and behaviors expected of individuals remains analogous despite gender. This ideology stems from the preceding movement in equality, which preaches that differences of sex appear insignificant. Despite this notion, there remains distinct differences in the physical and psychological makeups of both men and women. In most cultures, certain duties remain associated with specific genders. With this in mind, Shakespeare’s Macbeth heightens the supernatural evil possessing Lady Macbeth as she condones murder for her own selfish ambition, while in Shakespeare’s time women were regarded as peaceful and full of feminine sympathies. This anachronism with the reality of Shakespeare’s day, illustrates the immense sense of wickedness and abnormality emphasizing her character’s influence on her husband and the plot of the play. In contrast, Macbeth appears to some extent a more acceptable evil due to a greater compliance with the gender standards and moral transition during the Shakespearean era. Shakespeare utilizes numerous literary intentions in order to express these diverse levels of evil to provide an element of depth behind the mental reactions and deteriorations of the characters until their final decease into the complete darkness of death.
In a patriarchal society, women are expected to conform to social restrictions by demonstrating reverence and obedience to the males in their lives. Shakespeare's tragic play, Romeo and Juliet, explores the effects of patriarchal authority exerted over women and how the patriarchal structure left no escape from it, save death. Through Juliet, Lady Capulet, and the Nurse, Shakespeare establishes a common understanding of this type of society, but illuminates three different reactions to the social oppression by portraying the responses of a passionate lover, an idyllic housewife, and an attendant.
Macbeth by William Shakespeare brings about one of the most controversial topic of the gender portrayal in a play. During Shakespearean times, women were considered as the weaker sex, physically and emotionally. On the other hand, men were seen as the dominant sex that is expected to be the head of their households and a strong figure. Unlike this stereotypical representation of men and women, Shakespeare introduces the reversal of gender roles in his play. Shakespeare’s portrayal of the relationship and characteristics of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth diverged from the stereotypical representation of both men and women. The author, William Shakespeare’s use of reverse gender roles which contradicted with the traditional gender roles, is what
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
The feminist school has various goals when being used to scrutinize a piece of literature. As Gillespie points out, historically texts were written by males with primarily male protagonists, and thus, the male sentiment is most dominantly expressed in many works of literature. The lessened representation of women in literature is usually confined to typical stereotypes of the historical period. This can be seen in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, and this will be further explored and discussed. Through the feminist lens, women’s presence and portrayal in the play, as well as the common stereotypes about women in Shakespearean society, can be studied carefully, despite the centuries that have passed between the play’s conception and the present. Additionally, as stated in Literary Theories: A Sampling of Critical Lenses,
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
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.
Due to the heavy influence of women in his play, William Shakespeare’s Macbeth seems to be a work different from it’s time. Domineering Lady Macbeth and the the supernatural Weïrd Sisters are central characters in the work, but also are women who are catalysts for major unfortunate occurrences in the play. On the surface, Macbeth is a tale about ambition, power, murder, sorcery, and ghosts. But by taking a critical view on the famous tragedy, Macbeth truly tells the cautionary tale of what happens when powerful woman lose themselves in patriarchal society. Through Judeo-Christian and patriarchal ideology, Shakespeare reinforces patriarchal views of women, feeding into the harmful misogynistic stereotypes that are still held today.
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 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.
When observing gender in our society, women and men are stereotyped with specific roles. Men have always been seen as the family’s main source of income whereas the women take care of their home and children. However, Shakespeare challenges these gender roles in his play with the three female characters Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia. While all three are independent, powerful women and even lead their armies into battle, the men seem to be foolish and weak such as King Lear and Albany. Furthermore, Mira cel Batran makes a point in her essay, “Feminist Reading of William Shakespeare’s King Lear”, that although women are regarded as dependent on men, Shakespeare explains that it can be the exact opposite. The men seem to depend on the women such as King Lear depending on Cordelia and Albany depending on Goneril. Shakespeare, in his play, King Lear, portrays women who are strong and intelligent and men who are weak or overpowered by female characters, challenging the societal belief that women are inherently less than or dependent on men.
Men rule the world, but women rule the men. This has become glaringly obvious when deciding how to analyse critically, patriarchy in Shakespeare’s play The Winter’s Tale. There is little doubt that this play represents English patriarchal society in the Jacobean Era, and how the men in power, or authority, treated the ‘fairer sex’: their wives, daughters, and women in general. In this essay, elements examined will surround King Leontes and his relationships, such as with his old friend King Polixenes of Bohemia, his young son Mamillius, and finally with the women in his life, Queen Hermione, and Lady Paulina. Leontes is not only head of his household; he is also King of Sicilia, thus head of all households in the country, an incredibly pressurised
Perhaps the theme that is most recurrent in William Shakespeare's plays is that of filial relationships, specifically the relationship between daughter and father. This particular dynamic has allowed Shakespeare to create complex female characters that come into conflict with their fathers over issues ranging from marriage to independence. At the same time, the dramatist exposes his audience to the struggles women face when attempting to assert themselves in a misogynistic world. Through the daughter-father dyads portrayed in The Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare highlights the effects that gender constraints have on female characters while simultaneously drawing attention to the sharp contrast between both relationships.