Patriarchal Society In The Merchant Of Venice

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Women in the 16th century, the Shakespearean Era, didn’t have too many expectations placed upon them. Because they were considered the weaker sex, housewives and mothers was the extent of what was expected of them. The only education they had access to were private tutors inside their homes. They also were not allowed to become lawyers, doctors, or the like. Only maids, cooks or other “around the house” jobs. This is a summary of the average Patriarchal society. In the play, Merchant of Venice written by Shakespeare, the women defy these stereotypes of a patriarchal society in multiple scenarios. Firstly, there was a Jew named Jessica that lived with her father. Despite the norm, she fell in love with a Christian and dressed up as a boy so she could run away with him. “‘I’m glad it’s night-time and you can’t see me. I’m ashamed of my clothes. But love is blind and lovers can’t see the little follies they commit. If they could, Cupid would blush to see me changed into a boy’” (Marchant 2.6.38-40.) Jessica had decided to run away with her love, Lorenzo, and in order to do so, she needed to dress up as a boy to insure that no one would recognize her. It is fairly apparent that a daughter running away from her father isn’t the norm in a Patriarchal society. The exact opposite. Another way that this situation is abnormal would be how Loernzo is a Christian and Jessica is a Jew. These two shouldn’t be conversating, let alone spending enough time together to fall in

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