Free «William Shakespeare Plays» Essay Sample


Shakespeare’s use of English language has been interpreted differently. Women chauvinism in his play has been considered by many reviewers who analyze his play. The paper will review such articles that review Shakespeare’s work and criticize the evaluations of the ideas considered in them.


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Twelfth night

Shakespeare is known to use the aspect of mistaken identity in his work, and the twelfth night was no different. The ship Viola is travelling with is involved in a shipwreck; however Viola manages to save herself after which she walks onto land at Illyria. She then enters in the world of men dressed just like her male counterparts. Viola then starts working for the duke; unfortunately she loses her brother and stop working for him. After some time she falls in love with Orsino a messenger, but things get even more interesting when her twin brother appears in the scene. Viola had actually thought that Sebastian had lost his life in the shipwreck, but he was saved by the captain whose name was Antonio. In this scene Antonio is in a bad mood since he also thinks his sister drowned back in the shipwreck. The captain Antonio gives Sebastian financial support, this enables him get along in the alien neighborhood. Antonio does not go with him as the people there tend to think he is associated with piracy. Viola’s uncle who is living in Olivia’s home is in town. Her uncle is known to be a jovial person. At the same time, Belch is pretending to support Sir Andrew as her suitor, however all she wants is to gold dig him (Lowndes, 76).

 Another character is introduced going by the name Maria, she enters the scene in an angry mood as she confronts Olivia for not maintaining order in the house. Maria qualities are reveled when she and her friends plan to strike back by faking a love mail addressing it to Malvolio stating it’s from Olivia. The drama keeps getting better when jealousy and fights ensues. Sebastian and Olivia fall for each other and latter marry, this enable them to behave as they wish in Olivia’s home. Shakespeare ends the play by sewing the different stories together so that everybody is happy except for Malvolio (Knight, 102).

Criticism of Shakespeare’s work

As one criticizes Shakespeare’s work, one concept is made obvious: Women were the masterminds of immorality and evil and by no way would they receive acknowledgement for anything else. Going by this statement, Goneril and Regan were known to be mean and ill minded women. In this modern age it becomes very difficult to relate with Shakespeare, this is because women are now highly regarded and are treated equally with the men. This poses a problem as old gender issues are awakened, and women might be downgraded once more. Many articles about Shakespeare seem to focus their criticism on the way Shakespeare handles good and evil. He is known to crash each of the two with each other, and then uses suspense to hide loops in the two. Why should women be presented as a burden to society? It is paramount to study the reasons to female chauvinism in Shakespeare works. Some of the reasons are the way women were treated in olden ages; they were treated as lower beings and with no rights. Also, the fact that the male dominated prominent posts in society was a contributing factor as it made women feel inferior.

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The author of the essay about critics of Shakespeare is keen to mention how Shakespeare plays about with good and evil. This is seen when he discusses about the way a hero first has to pass through a lot burdens, that is pain and suffering comes first before success. A writer by the name Thomas focuses his arguments on female chauvinist, however he does not dwell too much on this as he goes on to criticize other writers. He is not contempt by the way most writers are focusing all their energy studying  Shakespeare work and leaving women out raising the question do women still exist in Shakespeare’s world? The author is puzzled as he tries to understand how this happened, is it Shakespeare who removed them? Or who was responsible and why?

Most of Shakespeare work has emitted women from the play so that there are more men than women. When Shakespeare talks about the men, he assigns them political posts and other prestigious positions. However, the women do not enjoy these allocations, instead they are reduced to servants and scandalous people. Those women who are given the prestigious posts do not enjoy it as compared to the males. This is because they come across very challenging situations, for example in the merchant of Venice by Shakespeare, Portia is beautiful but the problems are centered in her and her surroundings (Hazlitt, 54).

Setting of Shakespeare’s plays

The setting of the books by Shakespeare was mainly based on the current events going on in the society. This is to say that if it was harvesting season it would call for its own setting, this affected the flow of these plays as sometimes the events would not rhyme with the play. Also Shakespeare did not publish his work and the exact date of these plays and writing the theme is not known, these does more harm than good as it leaves so many questions unanswered. However, historians are able to predict the time by comparing historical occurrences with events described in Shakespeare’s plays and books.          

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Another article focusing on criticism is by Duncan -the ancient bible. He seeks to understand how Shakespeare uses the bible while at the same time strives to try and comprehend how the bible was relevant in the plays. He is not pleased by the way Shakespeare uses the bible; it seems the bible made the plays more serious and realistic. One would go out of context and say that Shakespeare misused the bible for his own gain. He also seems to be a religious man with moral values, this is due to the fact that he does not abuse or mistreat the holy book.

When comedy and tragedy are mixed together, the two emotions will crash with each other. However, in some scenes he manages to avoid such occurrences preventing himself as an experienced writer who can present conflicting ideas at the sometime. A person cannot find it in his or her heart to mourn the death of a beloved person and at the same time laugh at a joke. If this aspect backfires then the reader or the audience might be confused and may miss out. When dealing with people’s emotions, one should be very cautious since it determines the way the mind will judge and perceive concepts (Hazlitt, 164).

There are situations where Shakespeare mixes love and hate and even murder. If one perceives murder more than love and the author’s intentions were vice versa then; the readers will understand the play in a totally different way. This can be avoided by ensuring one emotion takes over the other in a rational way. Critics seem to agree on one thing relating to Shakespeare which is his lack of historical data. Shakespeare is regarded to be one of the greatest writers in the history of mankind, yet there is no documentation of his history life, but just mere comparison of events. The lack of information with Shakespeare is very disadvantageous as the audience misses out on the chance to connect with him. Very little is known about him but his works dates back to the sixteenth century.

There are those who criticize Shakespeare for corrupting the English language with the use of false writing. This is seen when the author wants to create an illusion or a surprise by using fake facts and a fantasy setting in the plays. All this is made possible by manipulating the English words. Shakespeare truly had a passion for writing but his work was never published partly due to fear of his work been pirated. Back in the days there were no copyright protection; Shakespeare might have feared that his work would be taken by someone else. Also the lack of copyright made writers not enjoy their work, since one writer would write while another group coordinates the play. What made it even worse is that the writer got no proceeds from such plays. The plays were in most cases altered to fill the satisfaction of the director of the play without the consent of the writer (Knight, 125).

To see how far we have come in the writing field and the developments that have taken place over the years is of great importance to help us appreciate our writers. Shakespeare is clear he had no favor for the women; this actually clearly outlines how the woman was viewed in the society. As much as we would focus on criticizing Shakespeare we cannot help but appreciate the revolution he brought to the writing industry. He actually interconnected the entertainment industry with the academic world; hence Shakespeare is one of the pioneers who made literature interesting.      

As the onset of the twentieth century different writers started to appreciate the work of Shakespeare. Even the online community is clearly not left behind as there are thousands of sources that are related to Shakespeare’s work. His work revolutionized the education system especially in literature. Schools have integrated some of Shakespeare’s books in their syllabus. Also some people have dedicated their life to study the literature used in his books which has helped understand and appreciate English and the far it has grown (Lowndes, 65). 

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