The Status And Perception Of Women

928 Words4 Pages
Literature Review Draft 2

For centuries, the status and perception of women has been a disputed and controversial subject. Due to precarious political or social standings, even women in power were subject to the judgement and power of men. When considering the portrayal of exceptional women throughout history, rarely has a woman been able to fully embrace the stage without reservations. An analysis of research texts and journal articles reveals and connects the way that a queen of ancient times and one of the English Renaissance controlled their image, were affected by societal views of women, and were ultimately depicted. Scholarship on Cleopatra and Queen Elizabeth I relays the idea that society and patriarchy led to their respective authorities and depictions. Mary Hamer, author of Signs of Cleopatra, a historical research text, investigates Cleopatra’s cultural significance from her earliest representations in her own time to her status as a symbol in modern times. In the chapter, “Cleopatra: housewife,” she discusses Cleopatra’s image between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries, a time that spans the invention of the printing press and the proliferance of Elizabethan playwright, William Shakespeare. Hamer uses the work of Petrarch, Boccaccio, and Jan de Bray, which was spread rapidly due to the printing press, as a lens to view Cleopatra’s image. In regards to this image, she notes the changing attitude towards women, a result of the Reformation creating an
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