Renaissance Women and Literature Analytical Essay by BrainC

Renaissance Women and Literature
Examines Renaissance voices and counter-voices of women in early modern literature through works by William Shakespeare.
# 53468 | 2,563 words | 12 sources | APA | 2004 | US

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This paper provides evidence from the Shakespearean plays, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "The Taming of the Shrew", that there was considerable opposition to women who wanted to express themselves or have their own way in Renaissance times. In "The Taming of the Shrew", it is Katherine who was the deviant, but eventually conformed to the norms of society by obeying her husband. This was because everyone wanted her to do so, including the women around her. Similar to this situation was Hermia's, where she was ordered to marry a man against her wishes. Women around her and generally everyone else wanted her to obey her father's wishes. However, she revolted and eloped with her lover. From these examples in the play, this paper shows that the voices of women during the Renaissance were greatly opposed. However, it notes that, in the case of Hermia, it can be seen that women finally manage to emerge victorious.

From the Paper:

"The manner in which some women were in fact reinforcements to misogynistic attitudes is reflected in the Shakespearean texts, "The Taming of the Shrew" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream", as both these texts demonstrate the way that women in the Renaissance reinforced their social positions by repeatedly adhering to what was expected of them. It is clear enough that this attitude on the part of women had caused men to feel elevated and powerful (Belsey 1985, pp 12-15). Men realized that they could get women to act in accordance with what they expected of them, and they reinforced or justified these expectations through religious indoctrination. Particularly, the Christian bible was used in order to get women to conform to what men wanted."

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APA Format

Renaissance Women and Literature (2004, October 29) Retrieved May 29, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Renaissance Women and Literature" 29 October 2004. Web. 29 May. 2020. <>