The Winter 's Tale : A Patriarchal Theme And Stereotyped Gender Roles

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In The Winter’s Tale there is a patriarchal theme and stereotyped gender roles. Most of these roles, being administered and centered around one character, Leontes, the king of Sicily. The basic ideas of a renaissance man were a big theme in the play. These ideas were that all women must sit quietly, respectfully, and be obedient then they’re terrible hags who must be punished. Leontes is a great example of this renaissance man mentality he gives light to that idea in the ways he treats all of the women in this play, as if he is a higher being (“Winter’s Tale Theme of Gender”). Although Shakespeare doesn’t actually mean to belittle women in the play. He actually shows women as the more superior gender in a way, and gives examples of it …show more content…

It would affect the both of them and their children, cause people to look at the entire family from then on differently depending on how out of line she acted. Moreover, bringing children into the equation men passed down their names, titles, and all of their holdings and wealth down to their first born son, and since there was no such thing as DNA testing back then men just had to trust the word of their wives about whether or not the child their wife bore was their child. Considering that the entire future of their family name and every generation in it up until that point was riding on that truth, it’s understandable that that would add a lot of stress onto a man’s shoulders and out a bit of uncertainty in his mind(Zeltser).

Now considering that background and considering that even other character’s in this play were trying to tell him that he was overreacting, shows that Leontes was acting crazy for even his time period. Usually men wouldn’t try and have their wife executed on just a suspicion of adultery like Leontes tries to do.

Leontes’s actions upon his suspicion of Hermione and Polixenes having an affair is when the play starts to reveal his character in general and his attitude toward women and people in general(Shmoop Editorial). Leontes jumps straight to conclusions in acts 1 and 2 when he sees his wife, Hermione, harmlessly entertaining their guest, and his best friend one day. Seeing them together, just conversing brings him straight to

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