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A critical analysis of women in the Elizabethan era through the texts of William Shakespeare

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Introduction

Women?s Representation in the Elizabethan Era In Elizabethan contexts, women are often portrayed to play a peculiar and often stifled role in society. Considered to be one of the greatest writers in the Elizabethan era, William Shakespeare often uses female characters to assume the roles of somewhat rebellious women in the era. In addition to this, views on women and marriage are also touched upon. In the literary context of Taming of the Shrew, the character of Katarina is shown to originally be a head strong, determined, and at times jealous and aggressive young woman who can also be selfish when considering her younger sister, Bianca. ...read more.

Middle

This is what happened in Taming of the Shrew and even lead to a speech in which she condemns her fellow female counterparts for not appropriately attending to their husbands in the way that society seems fit. By doing so, being such an influential literary figure, Shakespeare almost undermines women in society by implying that any woman can be ?fixed? by marriage and also a stern hand, in the case of Taming of the Shrew. This theme of strong women is also touched upon in other plays, such as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, and Viola in Twelfth Night. Especially in Romeo and Juliet, Juliet is converted into a strong woman. ...read more.

Conclusion

Marriage is such an important theme in this play that Katarina was forced to substitute for a man who was excited about the zeal of her personality, and not someone that she immediately felt comfortable with. From this alone, the reader can tell that in the Elizabethan era women were under constant pressure to marry as soon as possible. Furthermore, even when a woman is widowed, she is still desperate to try and seek a man to be dependant of. This is displayed with the wealthy widow in Taming of the Shrew, who bought herself security in a husband. Another theme which is carried within marriage is pride. When a woman gets married she is expected to make the husband proud and please him; this was arguably the most prominent theme within Taming of the Shrew. ...read more.

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