Objectification of Women in Much Ado About Nothing.

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Objectification of Women in Much Ado About Nothing.

By | Jan. 2013
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To a great extent, modern audiences would find the representation of objectification of women very much sinister, particularly in Hero’s case. Shakespeare’s depiction of the interactions between Claudio: her potential Husband and Leonato- her own Father, prior to Hero’s public shaming from Claudio convey this. ‘Give me this maid, your daughter?’ Here, the two men are discussing the giving of Hero, as if she were an object to be traded, but as a formality for the marriage, suggesting the idea of the relations between the two genders as very much sinister. To modern audiences more so than a contemporary audience who may have been more sympathetic to patriarchal values, the ominous feel of this is enriched by Shakespeare’s use of dramatic irony with ‘this maid’ as the audience knows that Claudio believes her not to be a maid, yet Leonato and Hero are unaware at this point what Claudio has been led to believe. Shakespeare’s use of the imperative, “There, Leonato, take her back again” conveys that he is angry with Leonato, as if Leonato has been trying cheat him by giving him a used product when he wanted Hero new and clean. Claudio afterwards refers to Hero as a piece of rotten fruit, viciously implying she is morally raucous. ‘He’ implies that what was once sweet and pure is now spoiled, just an inanimate object to be thrown away. Shakespeare uses a biblical reference to convey the idea of the objectification of Hero- Similar to when Eve was tempted in Eden by the fruit that turned out to be bad; Claudio was also first attracted and then repulsed by the "impure" Hero. Shakespeare’s representation of the men’s view of Hero in this extract is far more sinister than comedic because of this objectification of women. Despite the baneful discussion, Elizabethan audiences may not have found the idea of objectifying women comedic or sinister, as it was just the norm, however a modern audience would find it very much sinister, as women and men of this century are of equal...

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