Shakespeare and Women vs. Society and Queen Elizabeth Essay

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Through the ages, women have always had a powerful role, whether or not it was recognized by society. They cook, clean, give birth, and nurture which all are more than necessary jobs. However, also throughout the ages, women have been separated by society and seen as a lesser being and not being granted the same rights and equality as men. Specifically this can be seen in the Elizabethan age. Queen Elizabeth fought for women to be seen as equals to men through her reign. But in loving the theatre, she never allowed women to be on the stage; forcing men to play the role of men and women makes her ideals and society's hypocritical. William Shakespeare writes using strong women characters, such as Katherine Minola and Juliet Capulet, to…show more content…
"I say, a devil. Thinkest thou, Hortensio, though her father be very rich, any man is so very a fool to be married to hell?" (1.1) With this, William Shakespeare acknowledges the fact that there is a double standard between men and women far beyond his time. Through his many plays he sends the message that there is more to a woman than to cook and clean. A woman can be strong and powerful over a man such as Lady Macbeth. A woman can be angry and fearsome such as Katherine Minola. A woman can make decisions, have an opinion, and sacrifice her own life such as Juliet Capulet. The fact that women were not allowed to play this strong and independent role handed to them by William Shakespeare onstage forms a kind of oxymoron. Society applauded Shakespeare for the mastermind of writing that he was but they did not acknowledge how he saw women in the highest standard and how important they were to men everywhere. He saw strong women, though they were chained down by the rules and expectations of society, in everyday roles. Though some men saw and appreciated women for what capabilities they had, this was not true for the rest of society. During the Elizabethan era, there were many restrictions on women in everyday life. Women had the capability to be intelligent and make their own decisions, but it was always socially unacceptable. Were a women to not act and dress the part of a proper lady, she
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