This creates an interesting piece of metatheatre because the character of Rosalind would have been played by a young, feminine looking boy. Sexuality as it is known in the context of society is broken, it no longer becomes about love or lust but for the gain of power.
At the same time, women of the upper class were sometimes able to circumvent these societal restrictions. Bianca is the third woman in the play. After killing her husband and her father in law in battle Richard successfully seduces Anne, explaining that he only killed them out of love for her.
Any women that go against prevailing conventions are redeemed by the end of the play. Orgel, Stephen, and Sean Keilen.
In this case, although sexuality has lost its proper use, gender roles have not. The answer to these questions might be that Shakespeare is suggesting women do not fit easily into the categories created by Renaissance patriarchy, that they are human, and changeable and sometimes more noble and honourable, regardless of their sexual behaviour, than the men who try to control them.
What might Shakespeare be trying to say in this play about women in his time? The emphasis on marriage, especially for women, was important because it repressed lust and reinforced the nuclear family. Tragedy is of such serious nature that there are stricter guidelines.
Obviously a lot has changed since Shakespearian times and men and women are now treated equally and have the same rights as each other. In Presentism, Sexuality and Gender in Shakespeare Evelyn Gajowski discusses why comedy can stretch those boundaries and blur the lines even more when discussing sexuality and gender.
Men were seen as the superior sex of which had complete control over women and could marry who ever they wanted.
In Shakespeare and Gender Phyllis Rackin says: Paradoxically, even as the female characters are ennobled, they are also disempowered. It was not seen as sexist at this time, it was the way it was. He showed in his work that sexuality and gender are ambiguous tools that could be used for more than what society said they could be.
We see how her reputation gets soiled through the language Iago uses to talk about women more generally: By equating her with a goddess, Cassio creates an ideal that seems impossible for a woman to actually live up to: Othello is a play that asks us to examine the position of women in society, since it explores issues such as: Phoebe falls in love with Ganymede unaware that it is actually Rosalind.
And why is Bianca, a prostitute, presented to us as a sympathetic character —she loves Cassio and is distraught when he is wounded? Perhaps he wants us to pity Desdemona, who is brutally murdered for something she did not do. Female figures such as Lady Mary Wroth and Elizabeth Cary could not attend university, but their families hired tutors early on in order to provide an education.
Therefore not only is there a homoerotic relationship in the play between the female characters Phoebe and Rosalind but also on the stage by the two male actors portraying the women. His monopoly of both male and female sexual energy is vividly portrayed in his seduction of Anne.
What are we to make of Emilia? They never go beyond what an Elizabethan audience would have found acceptable in a woman: She allows herself to be seduced by his sexuality. The manipulator uses sexuality and gender to twist the action of the play in their favour.
There was a hierarchy of sexes and each had their own role in society. Why in the moments before he is about to kill her?Shakespeare was surrounded by the idea of women being lower in status than men. At the start of the play the audience believes that Shakespeare must have had a different idea about women to the norms of society as he had put Lady Macbeth as one of the most powerful characters in the play.
The women of Shakespeares Othello are put into stereotypical roles, but behind peoples backs play much stronger types.
Desdemona, goes against her fathers orders and marries a moor. Bianca innocently takes part in Desdemona's death.
Emilia has an opportunity to save Desdemona but sneakingly remains silent. Women were considered the weaker sex and in need always of being protected.
When married, women were expected to bear children, for childbearing was considered an honor. Most women bore children every two years, but because so many children died, families were not large. Jul 21, · In Shakespeare and Gender Phyllis Rackin discusses how Shakespeare “transforms” the women of history and how they are represented, she writes: The reconstruction of history as tragedy in Richard III is accompanied by a remarkable transformation in the representation and placement of female characters.
Throughout Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, there is an overlaying presence of the typical roles that men and women were supposed to play. During Elizabethan times there was a major difference between the way men and women. Women in Shakespeare's plays are often underestimated.
While they were clearly restricted by their social roles, the Bard showed how women could influence the men around them. His plays showed the difference in expectations between upper and lower class women of the time.Download