Gender Stereotypes In Shakespeare's As You Like It Today

Good Essays
Renaissance culture saw gender stereotypes towards men and women in a different way compared to the present day. Throughout Shakespearian times women were seen and not heard. In many of Shakespeare’s plays he breaks the barrier of gender roles and pushes new boundaries on his audience. In Shakespeare’s play ‘As You Like it’ Rosalind cross dressing challenges traditional attitudes towards gender stereotypes and shows the special kind of freedom she receives from her disguise.
The European Renaissance had strong views on gender roles. Women were oppressed by society and seen as inferior to men. Women were seen as an item which men wanted to pursue in marriage. Men were seen as masculine and wise making women inferior to men. The legal status of men and women in society also had distinct features. While men held close to all the authority, married women had virtually no rights as citizens.
“Thus men may grow wiser every day. It is the first time that ever I heard breaking of ribs was sport for ladies.” (???)
Touchstone contributes to the belief that women can not do the things men can do. He is explaining to Celia and Rosalind that wrestling is only a mans sport and women will not enjoy it. Touchstone puts a complete stereotype on all women. These stereotypes placed on women only pushed further
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Shakespeare enjoyed pushing political boundaries. Male actors playing women roles were common in the time of the Renaissance. Shakespeare decided to have a male actor preform as Rosalind and then cross dress into Ganymede who is a male character. The switch of gender could be seen quite humorous to the audience since it was unusual and unique. The lesson of Shakespeare’s script is quite ironic since the play shows Rosalind finding freedom and showing the oppression that is placed on woman. In the real play women would not be allowed to act and Rosalind would be played by a male

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