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Elizabethan Women

Categories: Women

The social standards for most women of high nobility were to wear large corseted dresses and apply pallid makeup (History of Elizabethan Women). These women were not allowed a say in anything. They had to follow what the male said; however, if they did not, they would have received a harsh punishment (Elizabethan Women). Therefore the majority of these women would learn to obey quickly. In the Elizabethan Era the upper class women are not permitted to work because they were considered not as strong, or as deft as men(Elizabethan Women).

For example, in the movie Shakespeare In Love, women were not permitted to be actresses because it was illegal and extremely inappropriate for a woman to be seen on stage. Viola de Lesseps loved poetry; therefore, she auditioned for Shakespeare’s play dressed as a boy. She went against the advice of her maid and later got caught by the stage master. In the film, she defied the queen’s law but the queen overruled her mistake because of the bet the queen had with Lord Wessex.

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During the Elizabethan Era there were a plethora of family alliances formed by arranged marriages. In the film, Shakespeare In Love, Viola de Lesseps was coerced into a marriage with Lord Wessex at a very inopportune time. She was in love with Will Shakespeare, but the majority of women in this era were not allowed a say in these affairs (History of Elizabethan Women). These women suppressed their emotions for the man they loved.

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She was obliged to marry Lord Wessex and follow her father and mother’s orders although she was in love with another man. While women of today prefer have very dark, tan skin, most women from the Elizabethan Era preferred pale white skin. In fact the whiter you were the wealthier you looked because most of the lower class women worked outside which was why they were so tan (Elizabethan Women). Their dark skin tones showed they worked for their money while the upper class women stay indoors most of the day.

For example, in Shakespeare In Love, Viola de Lesseps always had a pale face with a big flouncy dress on. She never looked rampant like the street children or their mothers, but always stately and noble. John Madden fairly and accurately demonstrates how women were treated in the Elizabethan Era in his film, Shakespeare In Love. He shows the intricate clothing and colorless make up of these noble women. Also he explains the unfair and loveless arranged marriages that often occurred in the Elizabethan Era.

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Elizabethan Women. (2018, Sep 16). Retrieved from

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