Gender Roles In Shakespeare's As You Like It And Twelfth Night

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There are many different themes and ways to look at William Shakespeare’s play, As You Like It. These themes are like looking at a story or in this case a play through different lenses. As You Like It shows that there are different ways to look at gender roles and how they are represented in Shakespearian time (during the Elizabethan Era). Views of gender affected the character’s role, how they behave, and are expected to behave in Elizabethan society. Unlike sexual roles (male and female), gender roles look at the masculine and feminine roles played by both men and women. Gender roles have been constant and changing throughout history. As You Like It, looks at these gender roles and how they were influenced by Elizabethan Era and how …show more content…
Women were seen as the weaker sex and men as the leaders. In As You Like It and Twelfth Night, we see some examples of women trying to take the leadership role, but they are disguised as men, which was more acceptable in the society. It wasn’t until recently that society started to look at gender roles differently in the work place. A woman’s role was for the home and a man’s role was to provide for the family outside the home. This was shown in these two plays, As You Like It and Twelfth Night, yet Shakespeare tried to turn it on its head when he had the women take the head gender roles, dressed and disguised as men, but still trying to accomplish what they needed or wanted for their life to succeed in love. In today’s society, it is more acceptable for a woman to be the bread-winner for the family and work outside the home along with the man, but she is still not considered the head of the household or ruler of the family even in most of society today. Gender roles are blended more than defined into one category or another. An example would be that nurses in the past were considered a “female” job, because of its nurturing nature, however, today we have male nurses that can also bring a nurturing presence to the job. Likewise, there are now female doctors who can bring a leadership role to the hospital, where men in the past were in

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