Twelfth Night (Act 1,2,3).docx - Women in Shakespeares...

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Women in Shakespeare’s England As you will see, the characters in William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night highlight some contradictory aspects of women's social status in Shakespeare’s time. Many of Shakespeare’s plays, including Twelfth Night, feature strong female characters, yet women themselves were not permitted to play those parts on stage. Most English women at the time did not have many basic rights. Women were financially dependent on men, they were considered the property of their fathers before marriage and of their husbands once married, and they did not have any right to inherit property. Many Elizabethan women did not have access to education; they were trained to take care of the home and family. Only women born into nobility had private tutors to teach them, but they were not allowed to study at universities. It is a paradox of the time that while an intelligent and well-educated woman ruled England, most women had an inferior status in society.
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