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Comparing the Roles of Women: Elizabethan Times vs. Modern Day Society

Comparing Elizabethan times, the era in which Shakespeare lived, to modern times, a lot of customs in society have changed drastically. Some are extremely similar, as well. However, today, in different parts of the world, customs could be more similar to Elizabethan times than in the United States. Marriage and the role of women have made some serious headway. In many countries, women can do anything from ruling the nation to having full-time jobs. Divorce papers litter the offices of government officials.
Marriage in the Elizabethan Era was based on power and wealth, not true love. Many marriages were arranged to grant wealth and higher social stature to families. The legal age to marry underage, with parental consent, of course, was fourteen for boys and twelve for girls. Oftentimes, the day of the wedding was the first time the couple met. Women were taught that they were subordinate to men and that disobedience was an offense to their religion. The law gave men that power, so one could say that having a wife was like owning a piece of land. A career for any women was unthinkable. They were expected to bear children and run the household. Large families were normal, and women usually made plans for someone to take care of their child or children in case they died during the process of child birth.


Some marriages in modern times are still based on wealth, and now also fame, but many are because of true love. Nowadays, if a couple is not religious they can be married by a Justice of Peace instead of by a religious leader. Women can do any job they please to. Mrs. Hilary Rodham Clinton was very close to becoming the president of the United States in 2009. Some women are doctors, scientists, astronauts, and teachers. While, the traditional color of a wedding dress is white, the groom wears a black tuxedo with a white dress shirt underneath. Colors do not vary as much as those of Elizabethan times. Whether a woman is married or unmarried, she can wear what she pleases as long as it is dressy. Bride lace, as practiced by the Elizabethans, is no longer a part of the attire of brides.

Elizabethan and modern marriages and roles of women are similar in many ways. In the Middle East, women are still expected to be uneducated. Burning oil dousing girls on their way to school sometimes is the sad, unfortunate truth there. There are still reported instances of abuse in modern marriages, but now it is illegal. Not all that long ago, in the 1950s, high school females taking home economics were being taught to wait on their husband as a servant does when he got home. In England today, some church marriages still have the stage of “Crying the Banns,” or announcing a marriage three Sundays in a row before the actual event. The ceremonies now and then were attended by friends and family of the couple. Brides carry bouquets in both time periods. The wealthier a family was or is, the more elaborate their clothing would be.

The women of the Elizabethan Era must have had a harder time living than the ones today do. They were expected to sit at home twiddling their thumbs, that is, after they cooked, cleaned, and did the other housework. At least modern women can go out with their friends and be at a party once in a while. Past women were basically slaves to men, which is completely unacceptable. Even now they are still somewhat treated that way. In the times to come, there is hope that females will have the exact same authority as males do.



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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

spottedleaf said...
Apr. 26, 2011 at 2:26 pm

what did teenage girls wear then

 

 
pfgoldfish13 replied...
Apr. 30, 2011 at 9:07 am
Most likely simple dresses if they were not royal, and more elaborate ones if they were.
 
garfield12 said...
Jun. 5, 2010 at 7:39 am
this essay definetly shows the difference/contrast between the two time periods.. thanks for the help :) i hope you got a good grade:D
 
pfgoldfish13 replied...
Jun. 5, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Thanks!

No problem!  :3

 
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