Gender Roles Of Women And Power Essay

1584 Words Mar 23rd, 2016 7 Pages
Gender roles have always been a prominent underlying issue throughout history within an androcentric society. The OED defines gender roles as the role or behaviour learned by a person as appropriate to their gender, determined by the prevailing cultural norms (OED). Shakespeare explores the theme of gender roles throughout King Lear regarding women and power. He suggests that women are incapable of achieving power on their own and that when they receive power it will corrupt their judgement, cause nothing but chaos and bring about their downfall. Shakespeare challenges the traditional gender roles of women in society, giving them power whilst making failure imminent. Shakespeare expresses his view of women and power while explaining how it can corrupt women, causing jealousy and resulting in anarchy. Shakespeare uses the characters Goneril and Regan to express this view through insensitivity, love and trust. Insensitivity is the first issue that takes control over Regan and Goneril. The king 's daughters, when first asked to confess their love for the king innocently oblige as they are receiving power in return. When the daughters were asked to show their love for the king, after obtaining power, both daughters fell short and were incapable of doing so. When the king sought refuge in Goneril’s castle, she shuns him and refuses to show her love ‘I will not speak with him; say I am sick./ If you come slack of former services,/You shall do well; the fault of it I’ll answer’…

Related Documents