My essay is over Male and Female relationships during the 16th century. In my essay I will be able to tell you what their relationship is based on, How the relationship works, and I will compare some characters from the story Hamlet in my essay also. This essay is full of facts so sit back and enjoy the ride!
During the 1600s women were treated as inferior compared to the men who were superior. Women were expected to clean, cook, and tend to the children. Also During this era men argued that women were not capable of higher thinking because a woman’s skull is smaller than a man’s skull. Another statement that was said, women have wider hips which means there naturally supposed to be mothers.
Overall woman were treated poorly and were not treated fair in the relationship either. In the play Hamlet Claudius and Gertrude, Claudius wants to remain King and in order to do so he must please Gertrude and show love to Hamlet in front of Gertrude, but behind her back he plots to kill Hamlet.
Another good topic is how their relationship works out. During the 1600s women in the upper class were often set up to marry very young. Women of the middle class usually waited till there mid twenties to get married so they had enough money for a household. Women that did not marry were forced to learn some sort of trade to carry on their lives.
Child birth was one of the most important things of being a woman, Although men weren’t expected to be there while in labor. The woman’s family, friends, and mid wife were there for her though. Woman in the upper class who didn’t want to breast fed often had other mothers do it for them called wetnurses. Some relationships worked out great and well others didn’t go as planned. In this time, the male was almost always the one who brought in money for the family. Although there were times where the female brought in the bigger chunk of cash
. Compared to our current time, where we go to work and then go home; Back then they might of worked right out of there own home and didn’t know the difference between work life and family life. It was always family life and they never experienced anything different. In comparison to the story Hamlet, all of Hamlets family had royalty and were most definitely the upper class. People may ask did there relationships work in the 1600s? well they did, and they didn’t. It wasn’t a guarantee that they would be together forever.
William Shakespeare did not believe in woman having a say in anything. Then there’s feminists which say that woman have every right to be treated equal and they can have there own say in what they want to do, who they want to be with, and what there kids do. As a Male(father) you could decide who you married, what your wife did, and what you wanted your children to do. In the 1600s families were bigger and closer than today, the reasons why is because such high death rate of infants because lack of technology and medicine.
Which meant that families came together on the farm to help everyone out. Also religion played a major role back than, very often back then the only book in the house was a bible and that’s what children used to learn how to read.
Another fact about Shakespeare’s time is that, once a boy turns 8 he no longer has to listen to his mother. The ideal woman was believed to be a virgin and a faithful wife. Female honor and social respectability were tied in closely to sexuality that death was often presented if the woman was not a virgin. There are so many different relationship views and gender views, and it has all changed as time went on.
Some similarities are that men are still usually considered the “Man of the House”, but there are woman that are very independent and who can do anything and everything them self. Children are expected to respect/obey their parents, Boys carry on the family name. Although now a day, Females if they would like to keep there maiden name they can keep it; back than if you said that people would oflooked at you and thought you were as crazy as Hamlet, for seeing a ghost.
Relationships back than were often between man and woman, you were frowned upon if you were with the same sex. The “Royal” and the “Elite” were the only type of people that were able to have more than one relationship. If you were born of Royal nature or Elite you were among the few that could have side partner relationships.
This reasoning is because those types of classes were the only people that had the time, the money, and the energy to fool around. Middle class people might have had affairs but not as often as the upper class did. Which this problem also leads to having kids with your side partner and also syphilis was considered a rich person disease back then, because they were the only one who, like I said had the time, the money, and the energy to “Get Around”.
Some might say that Shakespeare cheated on his wife, because he was gone and there were no records of him for a few years. Shakespeare was married to Anne Hathaway, who was eight years older than him. They had there first child on May 26th, 1583 whose name was Susanna. Then 21 months later Anne had gave birth to twins, named Hamnet, and Judith.
After that they had no more children and remained married until 1616 when he died. He bought a fine house for his family in Stratford after his only sons death, Hamnet at the age of 11 died in 1596. Shakespeare was buried in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford, where Anne later joined him in 1623. He had lived apart from his wife and children, except every once in while he would visit them for at least a decade. Shakespeare was a very well professional writer of his time and has been remembered for century’s.
I hope that you have learned a lot from my essay, and you found it very interesting. My only hope is that you were able to walk away from this paper knowing something new, that you hadn’t before. My name is Ryan Disher and this is my essay over Male/Female relationships during the 1600s.