Female Identity in Shakespearian Marriages Analytical Essay

Female Identity in Shakespearian Marriages
Looks at Shakespeare's female characters and how they dramatize the restrictive lives of women during the Shakespearean period.
# 147433 | 2,730 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2011 | US

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This paper contends that Shakespeare's female characters project the clearly defined, constricted role of women during the Shakespearean era, which demanded submission to the patriarchal system, chastity and the production of male heirs. The paper draws examples to support this contention from Katherine and Bianca in "Taming of the Shrew", Lady Anne in "King Richard the Third" and Lady Macbeth in "Macbeth". The paper also points out that the concept of cuckoldry runs throughout many of Shakespeare's plays as seen in "Much Ado About Nothing" "Othello the Moor of Venice" and "Hamlet Prince of Denmark". To illustrate that one of the greatest expectations of a woman was to produce a male heir, the author cites "King Henry the Eighth".

Table of Contents:
The Male Heir

From the Paper:

"Anne, just like Katherine, is viewed as an object to be won, used, and discarded. The next that is heard of Anne she is sharing her misery with Queen Elizabeth, and then she is dead. What the other female characters, Elizabeth, Margaret, and the Duchess of York have in common with Anne is the despair of losing an important male relative. These women have all lost husbands, sons, and fathers and because they are left without male protection in the patriarchal system, they are powerless and vulnerable. What is left for them is their female emotive power which carries the tone of the play to its final conclusion."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Khan, Coppelia. Man's Estate: Masculine Identity in Shakespeare. University of California Press, 1981
  • Loftus Ranald, Margaret."'As Marriage Binds, and Blood Breaks':English Marriage and Shakespeare." Shakespeare Quarterly. Vol. 30, No. 1 (Winter, 1979), pp. 68-81. JSTOR
  • Brooks, Charles. "Shakespeare's Romantic Shrews." Folger Shakespeare Library in association with George Washington University. Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2867300
  • Orgel, Stephan and A. R. Braunmuller, ed. The Complete Pelican Shakespeare. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 2002
  • Galloway, Shirley, "The Women of Richard III," 1992, http://www.cyberpat.com/shirlsite/essays/rich3.html

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Female Identity in Shakespearian Marriages (2011, March 31) Retrieved May 28, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/female-identity-in-shakespearian-marriages-147433/

MLA Format

"Female Identity in Shakespearian Marriages" 31 March 2011. Web. 28 May. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/female-identity-in-shakespearian-marriages-147433/>