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Explore the idea that this play presents about being a female in a male dominated society.

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Introduction

Explore the idea that this play presents about being a female in a male dominated society The major theme in this play, aside from love, is war. War is widely associated with the male gender so, the question that I would like to explore in this essay is how a situation like war can affect the female, first, in their treatment by the males and that of their position in society during war time. I will be looking at what it really means to be a woman in such a male- dominated environment and how women are some times are forced to change to survive. I will be doing this from the perspective of Cressida. War is perceived to be more masculine affair. As a person's situation changes, this can result in a change of attitude. This means in the case of Cressida, and, probably a great deal of other women's, that they were treated differently by the men. If we look back in history to a time that can still be recollected by some in society. The Second World War. In this period came the emancipation of women. They started to work for the war effort and become almost equal to men. Those who did not participate were looked down upon through proper gander. Women were either idealised or resented. ...read more.

Middle

This is one way in which women are tried in a male dominated society. "Men prize the thing ungained more than it is. That she was never yet that ever knew Love got so sweet as when desire did sue;" Another trial, for Cressida, is that women have to be on their guard, as they once they reach a certain age are seen as objects of desire. This has already been shown to her by her encounters with the vivacious Pandarus. His use of sexual language to demonstrate the finer points of the male psyche has educated Cressida on what is expected of her. She knows what men want and at one stage in the play she is determined not to let them get it. Men want women for sex, true love is an element but essentially it is for sex.This is one trial of a woman in such a society, being hounded and wooed by the men for sex. "Upon my back to defend my belly;upon my wit to defend my wiles ;upon my secrecy to defend mine honesty;my mask to defend my beauty;and you to defend all these : and at all these wards I lie ,at a thousand watches." Here Cressida is talking about her virginity and how it must be protected from the men around her. ...read more.

Conclusion

As men are fighting they do not have the time for form close and more intimate relationships with their wives as they are hardly there. The war can either make the women idealised like Helen. Or in the case of Cressida in the Greek camp slated. Men do not want tainted women and the war heightens the emotions of the men, as the atmosphere is more driven and virile. To conclude, the trials of women in the play are not really that far removed from the trials of women today. Women, who lead an active sex life, get labelled and are not given the respect they deserve. But the males who do exactly the same are congratulated, as is shown in the play. The play shows how women struggle to keep their reputations and how women can be hounded by men. Women can be made to be one of two things by men and their own sexuality: they can be made out to be whores, or hailed as saints. The war plays a big part in how the women are treated by men. They just want them for sex at the moment and the women have no choice in this. A lot of the ideas about the trials of a woman in a male dominated society are still applicable today, which can only be a bad thing; it shows us all that attitudes have not changed much. Laura Walton ...read more.

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