William Shakespeare 's Macbeth And Twelfth Night Essay

1938 Words Apr 28th, 2016 8 Pages
Shakespeare in recent years, just like in his time, has been described as a writer who liked to challenge the circumstances and expectations of his time. During the 16th/17th century, women and men had specific roles, characteristics, and expectations to live up to and had to strictly abide by them. Men were meant to provide for their family; and be courageous, masculine and powerful. As opposed to women who had completely different gender roles during the era. Women, on the other end of the spectrum, were expected to take care of the household, were considered the “weak” sex, and as soon as they were married, they became their husband’s “property”. In plenty of Shakespeare’s plays, however, we see the different ways he challenged those norms and turns them on their end. In Macbeth and Twelfth Night we see the way that Shakespeare upends gender expectations by assigning traditionally masculine characteristics to female characters. In these two plays, that differentiate quite a lot, Shakespeare plays a lot with gender expectations and power the women hold over the men with Lady Macbeth and Olivia. Macbeth and Twelfth Night, I feel both form a valid comparison on how Shakespeare had the tendency to write about women/gender social issues and challenge gender ideology during the 16th/17th century. In both plays, Shakespeare illuminates, in many ways, the different roles, responsibilities, and characteristics that differentiated men and women during his time. General concepts of…

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