Much Ado About Nothing By William Shakespeare Essay example
William Shakespeare’s classic play, Much Ado About Nothing, is based upon patriarchal values. The play can be interpreted through the lens of feminist theory which explores the marked bias that literature, media and pop culture shows towards the male. From a feminist perspective, which seeks to see equal rights among men and women, it can be argued that it is wrong to call Shakespeare a proto-feminist. Gender inequality in the play is demonstrated through the traditionalist male’s opinion and perception of women.
In a patriarchal society, men hold the power in male-female relationships. Shakespeare illustrates that the role of women in Elizabethan times was ultimately to be subservient to men. In Much Ado About Nothing, Hero is barely given any dialogue. She can become a face without a voice, and Shakespeare makes this known by giving Hero only a single line in the first act.
It was a commonplace idea that unmarried woman owed complete allegiance to their fathers; and once married, their husbands became their lords. This is a function of marriage, but it is also a fact of gender; women held a special role in marriage of being the ones that were taken by their husbands, both literally and figuratively. Shakespeare does not let either the audience or Hero forget this. When Leonato tells Hero, “Daughter, remember what I told you: if the prince do solicit you in that kind, you know your answer,” she just stands there, silently agreeing to her…