Essay evaluating the role of women in Richard III.

Essay by lmartHigh School, 11th gradeA+, October 2013

download word file, 5 pages 0.0

In Shakespeare's Richard III, Women play an interesting role. On the surface, they can be considered powerless and unimportant - thought to do nothing but talk about and react to the actions of the men. But by going deeper and analyzing these interactions and reactions, we see a whole new perspective of the play. The women fit into a variety of female character Elizabethan stereotypes, but through analysis we discover they are more useful to the plot than they seem. Madonne M. Miner, author of the critical essay, "Neither Mother, Wife, nor England's Queen", addresses the women's role in Richard III and concludes that all the women are flat characters, but by doing so she limits the understanding of the affect they have on the audience's comprehension of the plot. The women of this play function as voices of protest and morality. Focusing on the men alone, the play would mostly be about political strategizing and power.

Only when the women come into view do we really see the emotional reality and toll of this politically volatile situation.

Madonne M. Miner addresses and analyzes the misogyny that occurs in Richard III. She critiques three aspects of the play: the interactions between Richard of Gloucester and the women, the interactions among the women themselves, the metaphors of birth and pregnancy and how they are used throughout the play. She uses these 3 categories to illustrate her point that all the women are completely powerless and are just used by men. She gives many examples of this. She gives the example of Richard's use of the women as scapegoats. She states that Richard continually blames women instead of accepting the guilt which is really his own. In Richard's soliloquy, "it is apparent that women are to blame for effacing the...