Male Dominance In Shakespeare Essay

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Shakespeare lived during the reign of Queen Elizabeth l, commonly known as the Elizabethan era. The Elizabethan epoch is seen by many as the pivotal point in English literature; historians regard it as being the golden age in England’s history. A plethora of books, movies, and plays, including many of Shakespeare’s works, were based on ideas and interests of the time. Consequently, many of his works are reminiscent of values and ideals found throughout this time period. Learning about the cultural norms during this era gives us insight on Shakespeare’s surroundings and experiences that influenced his choice of characters, plot, and overall writing scheme. Moreover, having knowledge about morals and ethical values upheld in family relationships …show more content…
As with many cultures around the globe, men were predominantly the head of the household. Men were expected to be the breadwinner and provide for his family. They also “made the decisions” and “women were expected to obey them” (Dobarganes). As you can probably tell, it was a male dominated society with women having little to no power. Only women of the nobility were given an education and the rest “had to stay home and learn to run [a] household” (EEL). By having little to no education and being “limited to household duties” (EEL), women were completely dependent on men. This idea of male dominance is evident in many of Shakespeare’s plays, such as Romeo and Juliet. One such example is when Juliet’s father pressures her to marry against her consent, signifying that women are worth no more than to be a household worker forced into marriage by masculine, powerful, and menacing men. Family life and values were no different in Elizabethan England. The family life for men was “one of power” (EE) and superiority. “The perfect husbandman is the father and master of the family” (CedarCrest.edu) who protects and supports his household. As seen in male gender roles, a family man was also expected to be the primary decision maker, whose commanding tone and figure helps to keep the house in order. Therefore, a woman's life was dominated by the men in the family, who were considered “property of husbands” (SWK.net). Married females were

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