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Role of Women- Elizabethan Era Essay

The Royal Women
Royal women were the most important and highest ranking women in the social class. They were born into royalty, and from a young age were given a strong social and academic education. They were taught thoroughly, by a private tutor, in the “Romance Languages,”; Latin, French and English. Further, they were educated on how to act appropriately within society, in the areas of manners, eloquent speech and polished appearance.

These women would marry a man from royal decent and would be come subservient to him. Their role in society from then on was to support their husbands in any public occasions, go to royal engagements, and advocate the ideas of the church. Their husband controlled everything they did. Additionally, women had to make babies, as they would be the next heirs of the throne. They would not stop until they had least two sons, as only a son could take an empire.

To these women, having an attractive appearance was crucially important, as it represented the monarchy well. In addition, these women were judged on how they acted at every moment, so there behavior, body language, speech and facial expressions had to be maintained without fail.

Life for a royal woman was dull and boring for the great part; men controlled every aspect, from the clothes they wore to what they said. They had no chance of ruling an empire, and despite their higher education and richer background, the royal women had the least rights.

The Royal Women
Royal women were the most important and highest ranking women in the social class. They were born into royalty, and from a young age were given a strong social and academic education. They were taught thoroughly, by a private tutor, in the “Romance Languages,”; Latin, French and English. Further, they were educated on how to act appropriately within society, in the areas of manners, eloquent speech and polished appearance.

These women would marry a man from royal decent and would be come subservient to him. Their role in society from then on was to support their husbands in any public occasions, go to royal engagements, and advocate the ideas of the church. Their husband controlled everything they did. Additionally, women had to make babies, as they would be the next heirs of the throne. They would not stop until they had least two sons, as only a son could take an empire.

To these women, having an attractive appearance was crucially important, as it represented the monarchy well. In addition, these women were judged on how they acted at every moment, so there behavior, body language, speech and facial expressions had to be maintained without fail.

Life for a royal woman was dull and boring for the great part; men controlled every aspect, from the clothes they wore to what they said. They had no chance of ruling an empire, and despite their higher education and richer background, the royal women had the least rights.

The Upper Class Women:
John Know sums up the role of these women in the quote: “Women in her greatest perfection were made to obey and serve men” which is a translation of the bible. Some women were given an education via private tutor, but most were sent to noble homes, to train to be a serving girl. Duties included: cooking, cleaning and making beds. Girls of this class were not allowed higher education, and were banned from working in important professions, such as doctors and lawyers.

At age 12-14, the women were married to a man in the same class. After this, she would live with him, acting as a housewife. Her duties included cooking, dusting, cleaning, washing clothes and keeping order in the house. For the rest of her life, these duties would be all she did. On the odd occasion, she could go out to the theatre, or meet other women, but these instances were far and few between.

Moreover, the women would have to make babies, preferable boys, and raise them. It was not uncommon for women to have up to 8 babies, due to the high mortality rate. The appearance of these women was decent, as what they wore represented their family. Upper class families wanted to maintain a decent reputation, and so the better a women’s clothes, the better the families reputation. Moreover, they would use lead makeup, which was dangerous, but looked visibly appealing.

Evidently, the main roles of upper class women were to represent her family well.

The Upper Class Women:
John Know sums up the role of these women in the quote: “Women in her greatest perfection were made to obey and serve men” which is a translation of the bible. Some women were given an education via private tutor, but most were sent to noble homes, to train to be a serving girl. Duties included: cooking, cleaning and making beds. Girls of this class were not allowed higher education, and were banned from working in important professions, such as doctors and lawyers.

At age 12-14, the women were married to a man in the same class. After this, she would live with him, acting as a housewife. Her duties included cooking, dusting, cleaning, washing clothes and keeping order in the house. For the rest of her life, these duties would be all she did. On the odd occasion, she could go out to the theatre, or meet other women, but these instances were far and few between.

Moreover, the women would have to make babies, preferable boys, and raise them. It was not uncommon for women to have up to 8 babies, due to the high mortality rate. The appearance of these women was decent, as what they wore represented their family. Upper class families wanted to maintain a decent reputation, and so the better a women’s clothes, the better the families reputation. Moreover, they would use lead makeup, which was dangerous, but looked visibly appealing.

Evidently, the main roles of upper class women were to represent her family well.

The Elizabethan Era was the “golden age” of English society with the thriving of poetry, literature and art. Ranging from William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, to Gustilio’s Gapio’s paintings, the era was filled with great advances in many areas. The role of women in society back then was very different from what it is now. Women had far fewer wives, and were considered the “possessions” of man. An upper class women. As you can see, the dress is slightly simpler, with no jewelry and less makeup. However, she is still presentable. An upper class women. As you can see, the dress is slightly simpler, with no jewelry and less makeup. However, she is still presentable.

An eloquently dressed royal lady, with lovely make up and a beautiful corset. She looks very presentable. An eloquently dressed royal lady, with lovely make up and a beautiful corset. She looks very presentable.

Activities & Questions:
1) Describe the primary role of women in each of the three classes. Further, compare and contrast the role of these women? 2) It seems hypocritical that the era was highly sexist against women, but the ruler, Queen Elizabeth, was a woman herself. Explain why Queen Elizabeth was able to be so authoritarian in this anti-feminist era, and further, research and explain why people were so sexist against women. 3) Using the knowledge gained, write a short diary entry from the point of view of a woman in any of the three classes. 4) In groups, act out a typical scene of the role of women in everyday society. Take in mind their roles and responsibilities. 5) How has our view on women and their roles in society changed? Why has this occurred? Explain in a short paragraph.

Activities & Questions:
1) Describe the primary role of women in each of the three classes. Further, compare and contrast the role of these women? 2) It seems hypocritical that the era was highly sexist against women, but the ruler, Queen Elizabeth, was a woman herself. Explain why Queen Elizabeth was able to be so authoritarian in this anti-feminist era, and further, research and explain why people were so sexist against women. 3) Using the knowledge gained, write a short diary entry from the point of view of a woman in any of the three classes. 4) In groups, act out a typical scene of the role of women in everyday society. Take in mind their roles and responsibilities. 5) How has our view on women and their roles in society changed? Why has this occurred? Explain in a short paragraph.

The Common Women (commoner):
The middle and lower class women were grouped together, and called the commoners. From a young age, they were taught how to run and maintain a household, with no formal education given. These women were married off as early as possible, to a man in a similar class. The earliest legal age for marriage was 12, and this was the age where most girls were married.

Once married, the women had little rights and little say within society. They were forced to follow their husbands, and run the house. They would do chores such as cooking, cleaning, washing and dusting. Moreover, they too would make many babies, and raise them into adulthood. Due to their lack of education, many could not read or write, and their speaking skills were very poor.

Their appearance was neglected, and they looked very ugly. The economical condition in these households was often very dire, and hence women were often skinny and anorexic. The mortality rate of these women was very high, and they were not taken much care of. Life was a great struggle for these women.

Clearly, their predominant role was to run the household, and make children for their husbands.

The Common Women (commoner):
The middle and lower class women were grouped together, and called the commoners. From a young age, they were taught how to run and maintain a household, with no formal education given. These women were married off as early as possible, to a man in a similar class. The earliest legal age for marriage was 12, and this was the age where most girls were married.

Once married, the women had little rights and little say within society. They were forced to follow their husbands, and run the house. They would do chores such as cooking, cleaning, washing and dusting. Moreover, they too would make many babies, and raise them into adulthood. Due to their lack of education, many could not read or write, and their speaking skills were very poor.

Their appearance was neglected, and they looked very ugly. The economical condition in these households was often very dire, and hence women were often skinny and anorexic. The mortality rate of these women was very high, and they were not taken much care of. Life was a great struggle for these women.

Clearly, their predominant role was to run the household, and make children for their husbands.


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