Shakespeare’s comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, is a play that follows a small group of friends from a high-class society in Massina. Two of this group are friends are Claudio and Benedick. In the beginning of the play they are seemingly similar, in that they both are of an upper-class upbringing and do their best to maintain their social reputation. The characters are made as to enhance their differences by the end of the play; they are foils to one another. Both Benedick and Claudio find themselves fooled by other characters in the play and have to decide what they are willing to believe is true and what is false, furthermore both
A foil character contrasts the personalities of another character, which particularly enlightens certain characteristics of the individual. This element portrays these characteristics in an obvious manner, as it benefits the reader or audience. By showing the characteristics of one, it directly heightens the character traits of the other, creating a foil illustration of an individual. Nowhere is this element of literature more prudent than in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, as he effectively engages the use of foil characters. In the play, two lovers from opposing, and hateful families fall in love, but the hatred between households lead to their downfall. Characters in the immoral city of Verona are set to represent key themes and
Antonio rescues Sebastian after the shipwreck that separated him from his twin, Viola. Antonio immediately takes a liking to Sebastian and helps get back on his feet. Sebastian heads to Duke Orsino’s court to look for work, Antonio offers to help but Sebastian has to decline as Antonio is a wanted man and accompanying him on his journey would put him at risk. “But, come what may, I do adore thee so, / the danger shall seem sport, and I will go.” (2.1.43-44) Antonio follows him anyways and ends up encountering Viola dressed as Cesario in the middle of a fight with Sir Andrew. Because Antonio thinks Cesario is Sebastian, he steps in to defend him, out of his love. Viola is confused because she’s never met Antonio before. But, Sir Toby and Sir Andrew recognize him as the wanted criminal that he is and turn him in to the authorities. Although Antonio is ultimately released he still ends up heartbroken as Sebastian ends up married to Olivia.
Firstly, the patriarchal representation of women and sexuality throughout “Othello” effectively demonstrates the movement of cultural values through historical contexts. Desdemona and Emilia are character foils of weak and strong, and Desdemona is often subject to objectification. Desdemona’s husband, Othello, stated, “I won his [Brabantio’s] daughter” (1.2.94), which metaphorically objectifies Desdemona as an object to be “won”. Bianca, a Venetian mistress, is also degraded through her speech. She is often regarded as a “whore”, with no consequence for the men who say it. For the entire play, Bianca speaks in prose whereby there is an absence of iambic pentameter, separating her from the nobility who speak in verse. Bianca and Desdemona effectively reflect female isolation and dismissal within society simply because of their gender, thus emphasising the state of women in 16th century society.
There is one person in the play able to overcome this divorce of intimacy between the sexes: Cassio. However, his two relationships in the play--his entreatment of Desdemona for help to regain Othello's favor and his lusty, physical intimacy with Bianca--contrast two wildly different views of women. On the one hand is his
Bianca’s Single Story In William Shakespeare’s Othello, Cassio’s mistress Bianca is characterized as a prostitute in love with Cassio. Due to Bianca’s single story and the characters assumptions of her, she is treated poorly and not respected by her fellow characters. In Adichie’s Ted Talk, she explains the story of her former roommate who instantly characterized her as poor because of her ethnicity and African background. Like Adichie being characterized as poor and pitiful because she is from Africa, Bianca is characterized as a prostitute based off her past with other men and because of the commonality of prostitutes residing in Venice.
The relationships between servants and masters closely reflect the gender relationships in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Lucentio and Tranio's relationship as master and servant is an ideal of the Renaissance era according to "An Homily on the State of Matrimony." Tranio risks taking the place of his master because of his love for him and Lucentio always treats him with kindness and respect, almost like an equal. Though they are not involved romantically, Lucentio and Tranio fulfill these ideals better than any marriage in The Taming of the Shrew. Lucentio's relationship with Bianca reflects his role with Tranio: Bianca shows respect for Lucentio as he
Perhaps the most foolish characters readers could come across in The Decameron were Friar Alberto and Monna Lisetta. Boccaccio masterfully parodied the Church by introducing Friar Alberto as a former con man who moved to Venice and became a priest: already, Boccaccio has criticized the vetting process for potential religious officials. Monna Lisetta, the next character introduced, is a vain, airheaded devotee of the angel Gabriel. By having these silly characters meet in a religious setting, Boccaccio mocked the Catholics of his day, especially once Friar Alberto used his credibility as a “man of God” to trick the gullible Monna Lisetta into having sex with “Gabriel,” who would be possessing the friar’s own body. Boccaccio could hardly be more derisive toward the Church than with this “tragic” story.
n Shakespeare's play Othello many issues are undertaken and explored. The three women play a vital role in this. Only one of the women in this play survives. All the women have no separate identity within the play; all three are married or associated with a male character. Bianca is the mistress of Cassio, Emilia is married to Iago and Desdemona is married with Othello. According to the time that the play was written in and the general hierarchy within Venetian society men hold all the power and women are considered to be of low intellect. Yet it is the women that speak the most sense throughout the play and it is also the women that are able to trust other characters in the play. Each woman represents a different social level, Desdemona
In these lines Orsino implies that he can only be with his true love when she looks like a woman. She looks like a woman when she is in woman's clothing. In these play the characters are able to change from female to male by putting on different clothes. The women are treated differently when they are dressed as men. This brings about the conclusion that clothes define gender. Gender is not about who you are, it is what you look like and how other perceive you. To prove her gender Viola must change into women's clothing. She also must go back to her correct female role and abandon the new male attitude she took on. When Rosalind removes her disguise she also gives up the strength it symbolizes (Erikson 23). Her soon to be husband Orsino will not accept her in her male attire. He says to her "Give me thy hand/ And let me see thee in thy woman's weeds" (5.1.265-266). He can only know for sure that Viola is female if she is correctly dressed. In As You Like It Orlando recognizes his true love only after she changes into her womanly clothes. "If there be truth in sight, you are my Rosalind" (5.4.108). In both plays the women trick people who are very close to them into believing not only that they are men, but not even recognizing. Orlando speaks to Ganymede, Rosalind male persona, without noticing the resemblance to his love. How can people claim to be so in love and then mistake them with different clothes on? This is an obvious
The relationships between servants and masters closely reflect the gender relationships in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Lucentio and Tranio's relationship as master and servant is an ideal of the Renaissance era. Tranio risks taking the place of his master because of his love for him and Lucentio always treats him with kindness and respect, almost like an equal. Lucentio's relationship with Bianca reflects his role with Tranio: Bianca shows respect for Lucentio as he cherishes her and treats her with kindness. However, Bianca fails to complete her role as an ideal wife by obeying her husband. however Petruchio and his servant, Grumio, have a much different relationship. Grumio often disobeys his master, while Petruchio insults
Lucentio is discovered by affection for Bianca at first perception, says that "he will die if he cannot win her heart", and thusly puts into movement a sentimental and capricious arrangement to do as such. Though cherish in the play is frequently moderated by monetary and entertaining concerns, Lucentio is cleared up in a dream of dignified affection that does exclude the useful contemplations of men like Petruchio. All through a great part of the play, then, Lucentio and Bianca's relationship seems, by all accounts, to be invigorating and unadulterated in contrast with the relationship amongst Petruchio and Katherine. Petruchio's choice to depends on his self-declared yearning to win a fortune, while Lucentio's depends on sentimental affection.
The mistaken identity in this play is related to the prevalence of disguises in the play as Viola's male clothing leads to her being mistaken for her brother Sebastian. Sebastian is mistaken for Viola (or rather, Cesario) by Sir Andrew and Sir Toby, and then by Olivia, who quickly marries him. Meanwhile, Antonio mistakes Viola for Sebastian and thinks that his friend has betrayed him when Viola claims not to know him. While Viola is in a sword fight against Sir Andrew, Antonio is trying to be a loyal friend by taking the place of Viola, who he thinks is Sebastian. Antonio is not liked by Orsino's court, so he is then arrested and taken away. While this is happening, Antonio asks Viola for his purse back, which he gives to Sebastian. Viola becomes extremely confused and claimed not having his purse and being a close friend of his. Antonio takes this as deception and thinks that Sebastian, who is really Viola, is a coward. These cases of mistaken identity, common in
Meant to cover up what is beneath it, masks can sometimes show one’s true self. Shaped as a dove, Benvolio Montague’s mask represents peace. In Romeo and Juliet, Benvolio tries to keep the peace by saying, “Part, fools!/ Put up your swords. You know not what you do” (I.i.61-62). The peace between the two families has an utmost importance to Benvolio and he does anything to protect it. His integrity, one of Benvolio’s most prominent character traits, is what allows him to get in between the quarreling men to tell them fighting isn’t the answer. Another example of integrity is when Benvolio told Montague the truth, “Here were the servants of your adversary/ And yours, close fighting ere I did approach./ I drew to part
The concept of disguise has been known and used since the beginnings of drama, but this concept was most famously known for being used in plays written by the biggest playwrights of the Elizabethan era— especially for being used in William Shakespeare’s plays. What do we mean by disguise? In broad terms, it would mean pretending to be something that one is not. The concept of disguise can mean changing behavior, or hiding intentions, the most frequent form of disguise is the change of ones personal appearance, usually through the changing of clothes, to mask ones true self. Shakespeare used disguises in various ways in his plays; As You Like It, Measure for Measure, The Merchant of Venice, and Twelfth Night were all plays in which Shakespeare used the concept of disguise as a device to further the plot, it was sometimes even used for comic relief. Disguises can be used both maliciously and/ or morally, depending on its use and its influence on the characters. In both Merchant of Venice and Measure for Measure, both Portia and Duke Vincentio donned a disguise to pursue justice how they saw morally fit, but ultimately their deception was only for selfish gain; Portia disguises herself to save a friend, and Vincentio disguises himself to know the true feelings of his subjects, both manipulate the law in the name of justice while in their disguises.