I have explored the role of women in the Shakespeare’s society with the purpose of considering the frame of reference towhich he belongs because it’s important to bear on mind the context of what we are going to explain. William Shakespeare was born in 1564 and died on 1616 so he lived in the Elizabethan era where the society really discriminates against women. Historically, men always wrote history, therefore they only inform about their activities and they didn’t take account women role. The relation betweenwomen and men was characterized by a marked inequality until feminism waves arose in 19th Century in the United Kingdom. Both groups carried out very different occupations to contrast with the equally that we have at work nowadays. Women possessed no social status and they were excluded and relegated to the gender-stereotypical roles: they should stay at home holding roles such as good daughters,mothers, wives or mistresses and they complied with the orders of the male members of the family. They were used for forced marriage with powerful families and they could not choose their husband, they could not succeed to titles, they had no right to vote, they could not attend to the university (Kemp 2010). It was forbidden for them to act in the theatre so female characters were portrayal bychildren or teenagers. They used that as an erotic ambiguity game for making the audience laugh.
In most of his plays, female roles were perceived as inferior to men and they had no significance even though there are theories that uphold that Shakespeare defended women. This theory was highlighted in the second-wave feminism in the 20th Century. There are different points of view between critics inthis topic: Some of them declare that Shakespeare protected the patriarchal values and some others asserted that he picked on them or simply represent them. Linda Bamber (1992) explains that is against the inclination of some critics that think Shakespeare wants to expand the idea of feminism. She states there are just some plays or some fractions that could go ahead toward the idea of an advanceto the feminism. She expound that although he represented the masculine outlook, the plays always value the female characters and conspicuously, in her description of comedic heroines but this no mean that he was feminist. She realises that there are a contradiction of women treatment between both tragedy and comedy. On one hand, in tragedies, he illustrated her as bad dream woman as Lady Macbethso the tragedies are plagued of the dark side of the sexuality of woman but on the other hand, in comedies, he represent her as more exceptional and conscious of her selves and that which is around her. How we should reconcile these different woman conceptions that have been done for the same author? We could conclude that Shakespeare is not a feminist but woman is really relevant for some of hiswork.
Shakespeare’s background, as I have been said, contained a very strong sexism and intolerance against women so, as usual, like he reflected the society of his time in their plays, he showed that bigotry. He represented how men treated women at that time. Then, if women are not significant for the society and Shakespeare wrote about it, women will be superfluous on his books and he willfocus on men. I come to a conclusion that women role is not significant in most of the Shakespeare’s books but, what about Hamlet and The Taming of the Shrew?
The main characteristic of the Shakespearean comedy is that it takes place a romance between women and men because the homosexual relationship weren’t accepted by the society in that time even thought, as it is mentioned above, the actors...