Stereotypes Of Women In Shakespeare's Times

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In Shakespeare’s England around the later part of the 16th century, women were portrayed as being obedient and also having no form of independence or control in their own lives. Men were always in charge of women during this time period and women had to abide by the rules that were set forth by their husbands. Women didn’t have a voice as they had to submit to their husbands who made all of the decisions. In fact, submission to those who were seen as being more powerful was what was expected in society during this time. There were five different stereotypes that were given to women during Shakespeare’s time period, stereotypes that made women look less powerful than their male counterparts. The first of those stereotypes was vanity. In…show more content…
We can see this when she ran into Tamora and Aaron in the woods. Lavinia was outraged by the fact that Tamora was having an affair. In fact, Lavinia said “Jove shield your husband from his hounds today! ‘Tis pity they should take him for a stag.” (2.3.70-71) At this point, Lavinia was expressing her outrage by calling Aaron an animal. Lavinia’s identity in Titus Andronicus was of a virgin and so, when Tamora’s sons, Chiron and Demetrius, raped Lavinia, her identity, in a sense, was taken away from her. We can see this when she encountered her father, Titus and her uncle, Marcus. In fact, her uncle, Marcus said to Titus, “This was thy daughter.” (3.1.64) By saying that, he was saying that she was not recognizable as Titus’ daughter anymore. Titus expressed his outrage by saying “What fool hath added water to the sea or brought a faggot to bright-burning Troy.” (3.1.70-71) It is at this point in the play where we can see how he really looked at Lavinia. He no longer saw her as a virgin, but more so as a disappointing sight to look at and a reminder of the terrible crime that was committed. In fact, Titus killed Lavinia at the end of the play because he explained that he didn’t want to see her suffering anymore. At the same time though, he also killed her because she was not the same person that she had been prior to being raped. In other words, it can be argued that Titus actually killed Lavinia…show more content…
In fact, her identity was of a Jew in everybody’s eyes. Racism was very evident during this time period and Christians were seen as being above everyone else. Automatically, Jessica was seen as being of less worth and that, in a sense, was how she saw herself. She ran away from her father, Shylock, so that she could be with Lorenzo. She wanted her life to get better. She said “I am sorry thou wilt leave my father so. Our house is hell and thou, a merry devil, didst rob it of some taste of tediousness.” (2.3.1-3) The way that she was portrayed made her want to be somebody who she was clearly not, a Christian. As with Lavinia, in Titus Andronicus, whose identity had been perceived as different after Chiron and Demetrious had raped her, Jessica made her identity clear after she ran off with Lorenzo. She no longer wanted to be perceived as a Jew. In fact, she said “I shall be saved by my husband. He hath made me a Christian.” (3.5.18-19) Even at the end of the play though, it can still be seen that even though Jessica was with Lorenzo, racism was still very evident in Belmont. In fact, Nerissa, at the end of the play, said “There I do give to you and Jessica, From the rich Jew, a special deed of gift, after his death, of all he dies possessed of.” (5.1.312-314) With that said, it was inferred that this cycle would be never ending

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