Role of Women- Elizabethan Era

1861 Words Sep 19th, 2013 8 Pages
Role of Women in the Elizabethan Era:

The Royal Women
Royal women were the most important and highest ranking women in the social class. They were born into royalty, and from a young age were given a strong social and academic education. They were taught thoroughly, by a private tutor, in the "Romance Languages,"; Latin, French and English. Further, they were educated on how to act appropriately within society, in the areas of manners, eloquent speech and polished appearance.

These women would marry a man from royal decent and would be come subservient to him. Their role in society from then on was to support their husbands in any public occasions, go to royal engagements, and advocate the ideas of the church. Their husband controlled
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Upper class families wanted to maintain a decent reputation, and so the better a women's clothes, the better the families reputation. Moreover, they would use lead makeup, which was dangerous, but looked visibly appealing.

Evidently, the main roles of upper class women were to represent her family well.

The Upper Class Women:
John Know sums up the role of these women in the quote: "Women in her greatest perfection were made to obey and serve men" which is a translation of the bible. Some women were given an education via private tutor, but most were sent to noble homes, to train to be a serving girl. Duties included: cooking, cleaning and making beds. Girls of this class were not allowed higher education, and were banned from working in important professions, such as doctors and lawyers.

At age 12-14, the women were married to a man in the same class. After this, she would live with him, acting as a housewife. Her duties included cooking, dusting, cleaning, washing clothes and keeping order in the house. For the rest of her life, these duties would be all she did. On the odd occasion, she could go out to the theatre, or meet other women, but these instances were far and few between.

Moreover, the women would have to make babies, preferable boys, and raise them. It was not uncommon for women to have up to 8 babies, due to the high mortality rate. The appearance of these women was decent, as what they wore represented their family. Upper class
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