Elizabethan Gender Roles

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Gender Roles: Shakespearean and Modern
During the Elizabethan times, there were many issues facing common people and William Shakespeare. An important issue that played a part in everyday life for Elizabethans, whether rich or poor, was the difference between men and women. Gender roles have been debated throughout history and are changing everyday. Although modern American gender roles are much more defined and different than Elizabethan times, if Shakespeare were to live today, his writing would have been very different.

Gender roles are something that affect every aspect of life, in Elizabethan times and present day. Although the differences between eras may seem immense, modern America has similar morals and ethics to Elizabethan times. Marriage is a major way of life in both times and important to most people. Since the beginning of time, people have always looked for a companion that will care and love them no matter what (“Marriage and Family”). This is a similarity between Elizabethan times and today because finding somebody to love is a natural way of life, and almost all humans want to complete this task. Women today and in the Elizabethan times are very alike because they find a need to get married more than men do (“Chronobiology?”) Women feel the need to satisfy their biological clock with marriage and children, and they always will. For that reason, women in both eras are the primary care givers to children (“Chronobiology?”) Even though women satisfy their children’s needs more than men do, men and women together have always loved their children to full capacity (“Marriage and Family”).

Women and men’s behavior and jobs are something that society has always judged people by. The two genders each practice different things in their life, but some of their practices were the same as Elizabethan times and today (“Elizabethan Women”). Women in both eras think that it is important to display themselves nicely in front of people. First of all, women still practice good etiquette and care about their manners towards others (“Elizabethan Women”). Women in Elizabethan times, of course more severely, were also concerned about their manners and etiquette in front of others. Another thing that women take great concern in is their appearance (“Elizabethan Women”). Between plastic surgery and corsets, women have been going to any extreme to impress other people, men specifically. Even though men’s head-of-the-household status has changed greatly since Elizabethan times, they still have maintained the same type of jobs (“Elizabethan Family”). Men have always been the primary soldiers in war, despite the fact that there are some women in the army. Although the mental state toward gender roles has changed since Elizabethan times, the physical state of women and men has not changed. Therefore, men in the Elizabethan Era and today are the usual people that you will find in hard, physical labor jobs.

In Elizabethan times and today, there is another issue facing gender roles besides the treatment of women. This issue is homosexuality, and heterosexual people have had many passionate feelings about it throughout time (Pricard 172). In the Elizabethan era, homosexuality was looked at as a disruption to the natural order of life. The Elizabethans also feared homosexuality because it was against the bible, and people were very religious in that era (Pricard 172). Since homosexuality was feared, people would take extreme actions, such as harassment or murder, to homosexual people. In Elizabethan times, these heterosexuals fighting against the homosexuals were not brought the courts because it was illegal to be homosexual (Pricard 172). Like Elizabethan times, there are many anti-homosexual people in modern America. These people will also take any action to try and keep America from having any homosexuals (“Homophobia”). This fear has gotten so horrible for some people; there is a phobia against...
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