Men and Women in British Literature Essay

1194 Words 5 Pages
The portrayal of men and women has varied in different stories throughout history. Many portray women as beautiful, deceptive, manipulative, and smart, while men are portrayed as being strong, masculine, and easily tricked. In many of the works covered in the course “Major British Writers to 1800,” men are advised to refrain from acting lustful, believed that it would harm their overall ability to succeed in whatever the characters aimed to do. An example of this is seen in “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” when Gawain is deceived by Lady Bertilak in an effort to prove that Sir Gawain is imperfect. The depictions of men and women are very similar in Fantomina by Eliza Haywood, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Phyllis and Aristotle. . While each of these stories maintain a similar image on men and women, the means in which the deception is very different. Unlike these three stories however, Paradise Lost by John Milton does not depict women as being deceptive or manipulative, nor men as being easily tricked or deceived. John Milton’s depiction of men and women is portrayed very differently in comparison to Fantomina, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Phyllis and Aristotle.
In Eliza Haywood’s Fantomina women are depicted as being deceptive and manipulative through the actions of the main character, known by many names although her true identity is unknown, throughout the entire story. The main character, which often is referred to as Fantomina, manipulates Beauplaisir…