Strength is In the Eye of the Beholder

1293 WordsJun 21, 20186 Pages
In my quest to create a well rounded and A+ worthy essay about Shakespeare's As You Like It, I came upon key elements of popular culture pertaining to feminism and the rhetoric used to describe it. Of course, “strong female character” is a term thrown around plenty now days, however, I never took a moment to contemplate what it meant. Unfortunately, my research dredged up a plethora of unsettling ideas about what traits strong females posses, and has led me to think films should no longer portray what is now classically called “strong” and instead produce more realistic female characters, thus redefining a more positive representation of women. Without this awareness, young adults will continue to believe that a strong woman falls into…show more content…
She does not rely on super human ability or talent, but instead hard work and perseverance. She is truly heroic, for courage is defined as the “ability to do something that frightens one” and through each of the films she shows us the terror she is living in and her ability to overcome it. This fictitious strong female is a symptom of a greater problem, one that has stemmed from former cultures surrounded by the gender roles put in place by society. Rosalind from As You Like It, while superficially powerful is also weakened by her choices. She recognizes her weakness as a woman when she states, “Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold,” and decides to dress as a man as she ventures into the world (Page 26). Although this is a different time it is still relevant as her only strength comes from donning a costume of a man. In modern film, female characters classified as strong are picking up traits considered more masculine and emulating men, although not physically. To compensate for this loss of obvious gender roles in clothing, females have been given their femininity back on only a cosmetic level, while increasing male ideals drastically proving to audiences it just a character and they have no need to fear the loss of their well known ideas about men and women. People find comfort in tradition, and Shakespeare provides closure by having Rosalind spend the entire play working towards getting a man, and then returning
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