Sexism And Sexism : The Twelfth Night, Hairspray And The Taming Of The Shrew

1922 Words Nov 29th, 2016 8 Pages
Sexism and misogyny in Theater There are plenty of women who produce, direct, design sets and act in theatrical productions, however they did not always have these opportunities. “Women’s parts were played by men until the late 1700’s. When women did get the chance to perform in the United States, actresses were often seen as fallen or disgraced women because respectable women were not supposed to engage in public activity” (Matthews, 315). Examples of sexism in theatric productions include, Macbeth, The Twelfth Night, Hairspray and the Taming of the Shrew. Macbeth may be empowering to women, however the idea of women always portraying the part of witches may be a bit misogynistic. The reason it is offensive to cast women as witches is because they are universally believed to “consort with the devil, change shape, commit heinous acts of sexual depravity, and resolutely wreak havoc on males and their good works” (Gilmore, 69). This opinion reflects the view that women are inferior, less trustworthy in their judgment and sexuality.
In the late 1600’s, in Salem Village, Massachusetts the fear and hatred of women continued in the Salem Witch Trials. The Salem witch trials consisted of a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft. The trials resulted in the 20 executions by hanging and fourteen of them were women and two were dogs. Five others died in prison and two of them were infants. (Schiff, 2015). People were accused of witchcraft if they are…

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