Essay about Much Ado About Nothing By William Shakespeare

1562 Words Dec 7th, 2015 7 Pages
One of the many reasons behind Shakespeare’s success was his awareness of the human condition and his ability to accurately portray it in his works. His capacity to depict the ever-changing relationships and dynamics between people is what made the plays so appealing to audiences then and now. In his play, Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare demonstrates the power relations between men and women in the time period. The main storyline of the play gives the reader insight into how women had limits on what they could and could not do. During the exchange of words between Benedick and Beatrice in Act 4, Scene 1, it is apparent that men had more freedom to carry out plans than women did in this time. Despite her strong-willed character, Beatrice was not able to act on her desire to exact revenge on Claudio because restricting constraints on agency imposed as a result of a heavily patriarchal social system oppressed women. Women had very limited capacity to make decisions and act on their own accord because of the various oppressive social institutions vested in male authority. The distribution of power in Much Ado About Nothing was heavily weighed in favor of the men in the play, exhibited by the oppression of the women and the explicit expression of misogyny.
The two main female characters of the play possess polar personalities. Hero, the daughter of Leonato, exemplifies the ideal Elizabethan-era woman; quiet, reserved, obedient/subordinate to male figures, and very feminine.…

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