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How does Shakespeare portray women - Essay Example

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In many ways, it is tempting to paint Shakespeare’s interpretation of women as traditional; especially since Shakespeare was a product of his time and the era in which he prolifically wrote and directed plays was a point at which women experienced very few rights and…
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How does Shakespeare portray women
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Download file to see previous pages Accordingly, the following analysis will detail these nontraditional gender roles and the means by which Shakespeare represented them as a means of qualifying and denoting the forward and visionary thinking that Shakespeare exhibited in terms of women’s role within society and gender roles as they in fact existed; rather than the means by which society determined that they should exist.
The first exemplification of this can of course be seen with respect to The Merchant of Venice. Within this particular play, aging mirror, poised, and subservient woman, Portia, is represented towards the beginning of the play. Essentially, Portia is denoted by Shakespeare near the beginning of the play as having nearly no control over her own well-being, her marriage prospects, or overall level of self determinacy. She is nothing more than a prize that is to be one in viewed in very much an objective sense. Says Portia “I may neither choose who I would nor refuse who I dislike” (Shakespeare 17 a). This resignation to face is adequately represented throughout much of the beginning of this particular play. However, as the play progresses, this character develops a more dominant character and begins to fight and overcome the stereotypes that ultimately constrained so many women within the society that is being represented. Of equal interest has to do with the fact that as long as Portia is under the stewardship of her father’s extraordinarily strict leadership, or resourcefulness, cutting, and quick with this is not represented. However, at such a point that she is able to develop a degree of independence and can express her own will, Portia quickly develops into a character that is a force to be reckoned with and is the only antidote to Shylock’s villainy represented within the play. Further, by flaunting convention, and even disguising herself in the form of a man, Portia reflects the fact that she is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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