Proceedings of The 2nd Global Conference on Women’s Studies
Too Soon For Their Time
Feminist theory depicts the history and change in the treatment of woman within society throughout the years. How individuals/society views/treats women has changed drastically. Women are now considered to be strong focal points within society. Though much of the maltreatment towards them has changed, there are still many problems involving their treatment found in today’s society. We have universally come so far, but there is still so much to do. Also, so many new problems have arisen with this change as well as explained in Carol J. Carlisle’s essay “Helen Faucit’s Lady Macbeth.” She touches on how the strength the woman can display can sometimes be misinterpreted and lead to bigger issues. In my essay I work to demonstrate how Shakespeare’s female characters were truly ahead of their time in all aspects. It focuses primarily on how the complexity of Shakespeare’s plots quite literally dramaticized many of the prevalent issues within society and how one of these lenses focuses on both the ideas of female empowerment as well as the diminishment and poor treatment of females. The essay focuses primarily on Shakespeare’s tragedies of both Hamlet and Macbeth and how the characters of Ophelia, Gertrude, Lady Macbeth, and The Weird Sisters represent the many layers of how women are represented in society through both power and otherwise unclear ordeals that society does not often realize. These ideas are presented in an article by Gay Smith titled “Lady Mabeth in America: From the Stage to the White House.” I agree with Smith’s ideas and also argue that Shakespeare’s literature portrayed as well as predicted the modern day treatment of women and that upon more in depth research, it can tell us more about these struggles that we still have yet to acknowledge.
Keywords: Shakespeare, Women, Struggles, Empowerment.