Pg preedy i am no woman i gender sexuality and power

This preview shows page 5 - 7 out of 30 pages.

present herself as a “female prince” (Gerlach, Almasy, and Daniel n.pg; Preedy, “‘I Am No Woman, I’: Gender, Sexuality, and Power in Elizabethan Erotic Verse” 46) and King James the First (1603-1625), who considered himself to be a “male mother” [Butler, “James I of England (1566-1625)”; Gerlach, Almasy, and Daniel n.pg.; Trubowitz 311], like King Zeus in Ancient Greece. Androgyny as “Evil” and Stereotypes about Gender Behavior Apart from those who shared the opinion that the coexistence of masculine and feminine features in one body constructed a “perfect” human being, there were also others who believed that each gender had its own separate characteristics which made one gender behave differently from the other and that was the “normal” situation; thus, androgyny was considered an indication of “evil”. What should be underscored here is that both male and female attributes were not supposed to be innate in human souls, but both masculinity and femininity were culturally defined (Ramsey 297; Schorkhuber n.pg.; Wright 9). As far as gender stereotypes in the Renaissance are concerned, men were estimated to be “the head of the family” and women completely depended on their fathers (if they were single) or their husbands (if they were married). Also, men were anticipated to be involved in public matters (as commanders, warriors or politicians), to take determinant decisions and be devoted to their state (Gerlach, Alamasy, and Daniel n.pg; Ramsey 290,294; Rivera 5; R. Wells 117). On the other hand, women’s role was much more passive and “normal” ladies should share some specific “feminine” virtues, such as quietness, submission, loyalty, sexual purity, reliability, timidity and endurance (Aughterson 109; Eales 23-24; Gerlach,
Image of page 5

Subscribe to view the full document.

6 Alamasy, and Daniel n. pg.; King 52-56; Rackin 132; Reich n. pg.; R. Wells 219- 239) . Of course, women were believed to be inferior to men, as Christian faith taught people. Shakespeare’s opinion William Shakespeare uses gender ideology as a major theme in most of his plays. In his works, for example in Macbeth , Shakespeare both reflects and disputes gender stereotypes through the presentation of his characters, some of whom accept and reproduce the stereotypes which define and accompany “normal” human behavior, like Macduff and Lady Macduff in Macbeth , whereas some others reject them through adopting characteristics that “normally” belong to the opposite sex, like Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth 2 (Gerlach, Alamasy, and Daniel, n. pg). What should be emphasized is that, although Shakespeare presents both the opinion that androgyny is “wholeness” and the viewpoint that androgyny is “evil”, he in fact indirectly expresses his personal opinion. To be more specific, he implies that androgyny can be “wholeness”, but this can happen only when there is a balance between masculine and feminine characteristics. When such a balance does not exist, very serious problems arise, something that is obvious in Macbeth . In other words, a man for example, is a “perfect” human being if he possesses both masculine (70%-75%) and feminine characteristics (25%-30%) and on the
Image of page 6
Image of page 7

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern