Women and the Patriarchal Society in Much Ado About Nothing

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Women and the Patriarchal Society The patriarchal society is a setting of ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ that shows male domination and women suppression. Men like Don Pedro, Benedick and Claudio returns with victory from the battle. It implies the boasted male ego. Male honor serves as a crucial importance to men in the play. Leonato questions the messager that ‘How many gentlemen have you lost in this action?’ It hints that physical strength is a definition of manhood. With Don Pedro, Claudio and Benedick rise of power as a soldier with victory, they hold great power as a upper social class. In Act 1, the exposition of the play emphasize on men’s talk, only the outspoken Beatrice can have a word or two, but the men still dominate the…show more content…
Besides, Margaret as the maid to Hero, is under the deceptive appearance that veiled her witty nature. When she is with the woman, her true self is shown through the use of sexual innuendo when she refers woman as ‘maid and stuffed’ with the idea of pregnancy. She can have bawdy talk just like man when she responds to Hero by saying ‘heavier by the weight of a man’. In a patriarchal society, though women are suppressed, they are not totally submissive and innocent as their true self is veiled by the deceptive appearance. Throughout the play, women are used as a means to showing off male honour. Women are defined in connection with men, such as wife, mother and daughter. Therefore, Hero is addressed by characters as “Leonato’s Hero, your Hero, every man’s Hero” and “the old man’s daughter”. With the image of jewel, women are like the property of men which can help boast male honour. As Hero possesses the socially desirable qualities, such as beauty, modesty and chastity, Leonato once says that Hero is “mine I loved, and mine I praised, and mine that I was proud on”. Owing to having Hero as Leonato’s daughter, Don Pedro even lauds him as an “honourable father”. When Leonato misinterprets that Don Pedro eyes on Hero, he considers it extremely honourable. To him, it is even like a dream. Put it simply, Leonato’s male ego hinges on both Hero’s own qualities and her attraction to Don Pedro with high social status. Women are also used as a
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