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Compare the Motives and Results of the Bully Husbands - Essay Example

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Summary
In Shakespeare’s England in the 16th century as in contemporary society, men and women clashed bitterly. Although standards and mores have changed, what remains consistent is the battle of the sexes. The definitions of womanhood and wifehood in Victorian England diverge from their current ones today…
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Compare the Motives and Results of the Bully Husbands

Download file to see previous pages... On the other hand, the image of masculinity has not altered much. Despite the waves of feminism and woman empowerment, men still occupy leadership roles at home and are expected to dominate the woman. What Western society classifies as male chauvinism in the 21st century was mainstream masculinity in the times of Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s plays, The Taming of the Shrew (1590) and The Winter’s Tale (1610) are two comedies in which the men had underlying motives for treating their wives the manner in which they did. The aftermath varies in both cases, yet the treatment is spawned from a sense of insecurity and constitutes an attempt to remain in control. In her society, there are the expectations and functions that every woman has to meet such as taking care of her husband and children.  If Bradstreet did not perform these duties as a family woman, her works would have been discredited. Her poetic works mainly relate her experience fulfilling the roles of wife, mother, and dedicated Christian. She lived in a conservative society where the woman is confined to the domestic sphere. Her poems focus on her life and more specifically her family life as her works are redolent with her love and devotion to her husband, and children and her God. The colonial puritan society embraced the sanctity of marriage and the oneness of both husband and wife, a relationship characterized by the prominence of the man and the subjectivity of the woman. The union between man and wife is consummated in the act of sexual intercourse and lasts in a faithful, monogamous marriage. Bradstreet incorporates Biblical doctrines relating to marriage into her works and consolidates conjugal love, oneness, harmony, unity, and chastity. The woman has to manifest stellar qualities as a virtuous Christian woman in the private sphere. She industriously sees after the home's needs maintaining her honor and integrity as a wife, mother and consummate homemaker. Shakespeare in The Taming of the Shrew and The Winter’s Tale involve two male protagonists, labeled as bullying husbands because of the way in which they treat their wives. Based on these plays, one observes that the bullying husband is typically one who demands the subjection of his wife. He generally employs techniques to systematically break down the woman’s assertiveness and he can also be physically and emotionally abusive. The Victorian perception of masculinity objectifies, belittles the woman, compelling childish submission of her and reinforced the power of the man. One facet of Petruchio is his mercenary character since his main motive was “to wive it wealthily” (Shakespeare, Act 1, Scene 2). In Shakespeare’s period as in modern times, money factored much in the forging of spousal relationships; therefore, love is not as important as a moneyed matrimony. In his determination to embark on a marriage of convenience, Petruchio’s preponderant concern was the economic status of his wife. Beauty or good character formation was never a qualification in Petruchio’s eyes. Similar to an economic transaction, among his first questions to his prospective father-in-law, Baptista, Petruchio posed a question on the sum of the dowry. Even Katerina’s initial conduct toward him does not turn him off from marrying her. From the play’s commencement, Petruchio asserts that nothing would deter him. He would wed a woman “as foul as Florentius’ love/ As old as Sibly and as curst and shrewd as Socrates’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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