In the 17th century or in early modern England the man was the head of the household. The man was at the top and the husband’s role as governor of his family and household which includes his wife, children, wards and servants. In those days they thought it was instituted by God and nature. The family was seen as the secure foundation of society, with the husband’s role being comparable to that of god within his universe or the king within his country. Women were instructed that their spiritual and social worth resided above all else in their practice of and reputation for chastity. Unmarried virgins and wives were to maintain silence in the public sphere and give unstinting obedience to their fathers and husbands, but widows had some scope for making their own decisions and managing their affairs. Children and servants were bound to the strictest obedience. Inevitably, however, tension developed when such norms met with common disobedience.
In the plays written by Shakespeare and Ford there is a difference in the way women behave and conduct themselves than how women usually do in the 17thcentury.
We mainly look at two women in each play; Annabella from ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore’ and ‘Katherine’, the shrew in ‘The Taming of The Shrew’.
John’s ‘Tis Pity she’s A Whore was frowned upon and looked down on because it was a play about a relationship between a brother and his sister... Tis Pity are compared with many plays but it is mostly compared with Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo & Juliet because both plays feature young lovers and their forbidden love, both plays have a meddling nurse and friar and they both have a tragic ending but Ford is different because of the twist in his play by using incestuous lovers and that was never found in any of William Shakespeare’s plays. Unlike in Romeo and