On the other hand, Shakespeare also maintains the feminine ideal through the use of disguise. In

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On the other hand, Shakespeare also maintains the feminine ideal through the use of disguise. In Much Ado About Nothing Hero loses her feminine ideals through Claudio’s dishonour, however the use of concealment allows her to regain her ideals. Hero’s death is symbolic as it is seen as her ‘rebirth’, as it induces remorse in Claudio and cleanses her name of infamy ‘One Hero died defiled, but I do live.. and surely as I live, I am a maid’. Hero’s dishonour is paramount, as the destruction of a women was seen as their undoing in a Renaissance society. Mary Rose discusses the idea of purity “For a woman, a public reputation was dishonourable, a sure sign of immorality and scandal”. In both cases, the characters have had an impact on society…show more content…
Viola breaks down the old constraints of the patriarchal society, which expresses the idea of the modern female ideal slowly coming into course. This would have been quite a challenge to an audience during that time. Critic Laura Jastrem talks about the importance of twisting gender roles and the impact it had on a Renaissance audience. “Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night examines patterns of love and courtship through a twisting of gender roles.. the duality of word meanings in this passage (Act 3) threaten to turn the traditional patriarchal concept of courtship upside down.. Perhaps the biggest upset to the traditional structure is the possibility that Olivia may be in love with a woman”. Beatrice is a foil to her cousin Hero. She is a sharp character who is unwilling to submit to the will of a controlling husband ‘No, my lord, unless I might have another for working-days: your grace is too costly to wear’ . Like Olivia, she comes across as a forceable character, which we see when she convinces Benedict to turn on his close friend Claudio. however unlike Olivia she stresses the importance of gender equality and the fellowship of marriage. When Hero is dishonoured, Beatrice in a state of rage rebels against the unequal status of women within the Renaissance period “O that I were a man for his sake! Or that I had any friend would be a man for my sake!” she
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