Shakespeare's Treatment of Women in His Plays Essay

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Some critics and other readers of Shakespeare's plays argue that he treats women with disrespect. However, he actually treats them with a great amount of respect. Shakespeare has been criticized by many modern writers for his portrayal of women.

The critics and other readers of Shakespearean plays think that he treats women badly for a few reasons, one being that most of the women in his plays die a tragic death. One example is in the play, Julius Caesar. In this specific play, Portia who is Julius Caesar's wife kills herself by swallowing hot coals. Portia was highly respected in life, and in order to be highly respected in death, she felt that she had to show her bravery in an excruciatingly painful death. This shows that Shakespeare
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Women in Shakespearian plays have always had important roles. Whether they create the main conflicts and base of the plays, or bring up interesting proper and cultural questions, they have always been put in challenging situations. Some women are stronger than others, and their effect on the play is different for each one. One woman who plays a very important role in Shakespeare's plays is Cleopatra, in Antony and Cleopatra. Cleopatra is the dominant force in the play. Cleopatra takes on masculine qualities such as being bold, `alternative masculinity' and manhood of stronger determination. She is also viewed as a perfectionist. During the play many critics notice that Cleopatra and Antony switch roles, by Cleopatra acting more masculine, and Antony acting more feminine. Antony becomes jealous of Cleopatra because sometimes she acts more masculine than he does. Cleopatra is not dependant on anyone. Some critics say that Shakespeare discriminated against women because of his actions. He did not allow women to have a role in his play, nor let them have any say in his writings. He had boys or men play the parts of women until later on in his playwriting. Shakespeare favored men during his time period and was also very sexist.

In reality, Shakespeare gave women important and positive characteristics such as intelligence, attractiveness and strength. Cleopatra was one of Shakespeare's most independent and

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