Respect Well Deserv'd Shakespeare was a feminist, his writing proves it.

Essay by Phile84High School, 12th gradeA+, April 2002

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Respect Well Deserv'd

Women are the root of all evil. At least that's what the people of the Middle Ages thought. If you look at it for their point of view, it was not Adam, but Eve was the one who bit into that apple and got us all kicked out of paradise. Unfortunate, this was not one of the things that was being reconsidered in a time of great reform, the Renaissance. Women, in this time period weren't treated any better than most servants were treated. William Shakespeare must have had a problem with this. In several of his plays he dresses women as men. He was doing this to show that women can do anything that men can do. When, in The Twelfth night, Viola dresses as a man to gain rights, power, and freedom; it was Shakespeare's way of commenting on the lowly status of women in the society of the times.

The Twelfth Night, by William Shakespeare, is open to interpretation. there is really no particular writing that any scholars can find that may have influenced him when he was writing this comedy. It does, however, pertain very well to what was going on in the royal court at the time. Therefore, it is widely regarded that the royal court was in fact the influence for this play. There are many who believe that Olivia is meant to represent Queen Elizabeth, ruler of England in Shakespeare's day. Hamilton observes that "A distinguishing feature of the plays language of suing and love is the way in which love conventions are shaped to emphasize Olivia's (and Elizabeth's) reclusive ness. Malvolio, Olivia's suitor in the play, also has a lot in common with someone in the court at the time. Sir Christopher Hatton, Elizabeth's steward, apparently fawned...