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The critical question of most scholars studying William Shakespeares writing was whether he was trying to stress the importance of equality and fairness amongst women or was he as a male raised in the 16th century expressing his beliefs of women as a gender Did Shakespeare truly believe as he had Richard in Richard III state that the differences of male and female was as simple as the words male and female being associated with different statements For example the word male being associated with bruised arms stern alarums and barbed steeds while female is associated with merry meetings delightful measures and sporty tricks Lenz 36 This word association was not only implying that men are strong and women are weak but it also shows Richards determination to obliterate those who represent the opposite those who are women Lenz 37 As most scholars find Shakespeare did not use the abuse and ridicule of women as form of entertainment and education but more of a way to show the audience the inequality that women are faced with He showed the mistreatment of women in his plays to make his audiences recognize it not agree with it Many readers who have not sat and taken the time to thoroughly read and study Shakespeare are quick to assume because of some of the offensive ways Shakespeare portrays women in his plays that Shakespeare was another sexist man Readers also do not understand why Shakespeare could not conduct plays that provided the answer to these discriminating ways Yet through summarized excerpts and examples it is easy to see that in the words of Karen Newman Shakespeare liked to raise issues rather than provide solutions Waller 40 According to AL Rowse Puritanism was a movement within the Church of England for closer identification with the principles of the early Protestantism 3 Puritanism was highly influential in the ways of men of the 16th century and the way Shakespeare portrayed women
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