Treatment of women in shakespeare

Helen Zimmernin the preface to the English translation of Louis Lewes's study The Women of Shakespeare, argued in that "of Shakespeare's dramatis personae, his women are perhaps the most attractive, and also, in a sense, his most original creations, so different are they, as a whole, from the ideals of the feminine type prevalent in the literature of his day. The editors of a collection called The Woman's Part, referencing three books by women authors from the 19th century an authoritative book, Shakespeare's Heroines: Characteristics of Women by Anna Jamesonoriginally publishedand two fictional biographies in novel form of two of Shakespeare's heroines from conclude that these early critics are "uneasy" when Shakespeare's heroines behave "unwomanly", and that adaptations of their stories "praise girlish sweetness and modesty in a style that today appears effusive. For feminist critics influenced by French feminismthe analysis of the female body in Shakespeare's plays has proven fruitful.

Treatment of women in shakespeare

Both women are manipulated by the men in their lives, to do for them what they can't do for themselves. Women of the time period were bound to either their fathers or their husbands and weren't expected to do much more than to be of service, look pretty, and not speak; hence, women tend to be treated as pawns in men's When discussing women in Shakespeare's HamletGertrude and Ophelia obviously come to mind.

Shakespeare's evolving attitudes towards women - BBC News

Women of the time period were bound to either their fathers or their husbands and weren't expected to do much more than to be of service, look pretty, and not speak; hence, women tend to be treated as pawns in men's political and social games.

Gertrude allowed herself to be manipulated by Claudius to help in killing her husband and marrying him soon after the deed.

Ophelia was more easily manipulated because she was a child doing what she thought was right by her duties as a maiden; therefore, she should not be held as responsible for her part in setting up Hamlet to be spied upon as Gertrude is for her husband's death.

Ophelia is also manipulated by Hamlet and used to get back at her father. Polonius and Hamlet use Ophelia as a puppet messenger between them which drives her insane.

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And, as far as insanity is concerned, Ophelia is considered to have truly lost her mind whereas Hamlet seemingly pretends to be mad and asks his mother to keep his secret in the fourth act.

A woman who is still under her father's care must do what he says and marry whom he chooses. A woman under a husband's care should be loyal to him in all ways considered under a marital contract. Women were to be the epitome of gentleness, nourishment, and tranquility.

Ophelia tries to live up to those standards and Gertrude seems to have forgotten her wifely role, thereby confusing Hamlet's understanding of the reality of women. Hamlet realizes that the women in his life present themselves to him in an innocent way, but they are truly misbehaving behind his back.

This scene reveals Hamlets disappointment in women and declares that marriage should be done away with. In fact, he states, that Ophelia would be better off to become a nun than stay on the course she is on currently working with her father.

In Act III, scene iv, Hamlet begs his mother to repent of her sins by not sleeping with his uncle and by also keeping the secret that his is not truly mad, but knows exactly what he is doing. Here again, Hamlet tries to tell his mother what her role should be as a woman, and as a human being, by making what went wrong right again.

Sadly, she cannot bring back his father. But as Hamlet seems to be the teacher, it seems that he cannot be taught of how to finalize his situation in the correct manner that obeys the law while also appeasing his father's ghost.

Treatment of women in shakespeare

Either way, the women of the story seem to be held to a higher standard than the men hold for themselves.In this essay I will explore chiefly Shakespeare's treatment of the three heroine's Ophelia, Desdemona and Cleopatra, of the tragedies Hamlet, Othello and Antony and Cleopatra, beginning with an exploration of Shakespeare's representation of the effects of a patriarchal system upon the characters.

Certain types of female characters often resurface in Shakespeare’s plays, telling us a great deal about his view of women and their status in Shakespeare's time. The Bawdy Woman These characters are sexualized, cheeky and flirtatious.

Related Questions

Throughout history, the treatment of women has been an ever-changing issue. Othello by William Shakespeare is a story in which the women characters are treated in the unfair way that women of the time of the story were treated. Othello - Treatment of Women Throughout history, the treatment of women has been an ever-changing issue.

Othello by William Shakespeare is a story in which the women characters are treated in the unfair way that women of the time of the story were treated. Ultimately, Shakespeare examines the complexity of women by displaying the vast array of attitudes, emotions, and their treatment and reaction to men as well as refuting the typical subservient wife role.

Ultimately, Shakespeare examines the complexity of women by displaying the vast array of attitudes, emotions, and their treatment and reaction to men as well as refuting the typical subservient wife role.

What was the role of women in Shakespeare's time? | eNotes